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Mistress Of The House (2003)
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Wikipedia in English
Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0753817713, Paperback)
In the 18th and 19th centuries, to become Mistress of the House was the natural prospect of women born into Britain’s wealthy aristocratic families. An advantageous marriage would bring with it an important ancestral home—a visible expression of power, prestige, and good taste. Rosemary Baird introduces us to ten of these remarkable women, detailing their accomplishments in the creation and running of Britain’s great houses. We also learn about their education and training, the marriage market, and their obligations as leaders of fashion, interior design, and society. Based on diaries, letters, and family archives, Mistress of the House is a fascinating work of social history. Rosemary Baird was educated at Cambridge and Oxford; a former consultant at Sotheby’s, she is now Curator of the Goodwood Collection.
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:19:01 -0400)
"For aristocratic women of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the hope must have been that they would fall in love not only with their future husbands but also with their new family's ancestral home. The great houses of the period were visible expressions of wealth, power and prestige. A large, fashionable and beautifully appointed house could aid the owner's climb through the social and political ranks. A main part of the role of a wife was to aid and abet her husband by overseeing the presentational requirements needed to impress: fashion in clothes, carriages, food and entertainment. In practice, some women who on their marriage became mistresses of magnificent houses disliked their marital homes to such an extent that they set out to mould them to their own taste, or even to replace them." "To become a Mistress of the House was the normal aspiration of women born into wealthy aristocratic families. The early chapters of the book provide an introduction to the world of these women: their education and training, the marriage market, shamelessly manipulated to gain them social and economic advantages, and their obligations and duties once they were married. With well-to-do circles focused intently on the demands of the social season and the daily routines in town and country, these chapters also give a fascinating insight into the women's everyday lives: how they communicated, travelled and entertained. The subsequent chapters are devoted to ten remarkable women of the period, describing their individual accomplishments in the creation and running of great houses."--BOOK JACKET.
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