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Daughters of rich parents were educated at home by governesses, while sons went to public school. Governesses were relatively well educated but were often lonely and unhappy. They were seen as servants by their employers but other servants regarded them as having a higher status and so governesses did not belong to either group.
This clip is from:
First broadcast:
7 March 2008

Classroom Ideas

Pause the clip on the painting of the governess. Ask: "Does this painting give us any clues about life in Victorian times?" List pupils' observations. These might include ideas about clothes, manners, pastimes and domestic arrangements. Encourage the children to look closely at the room in which the governess sits. How would it have been lit in 1845? How would it have been heated? Encourage the children to note any details that would be different from a room in our own time. Would any details be the same?

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