Harlots, Housewives & Heroines: At Work And At Play
In the third and final episode of this three part series, Lucy Worsley visits Restoration women at work and at play, she also lets the cat out of the bag. Having alluded to this world as male and misogynistic, she mentions almost casually that although a married woman was "owned" by her husband, he was also responsible for her debts, something third wave feminists never mention, either because of their inherent dishonesty or more likely because they've never studied real history.
We meet here some remarkable women; Celia Fiennes was an ancestor of the contemporary explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, though not a direct one
she never married. She was the first woman recorded to have visited
every single county in the kingdom. Aphra Behn is believed to be the first woman in English history to make a living from writing; she achieved a great deal in her relatively short life of 48 years. Then there was Margaret Cavendish, a rare bird indeed; her title, Duchess of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, was the least impressive thing about her. She was the first woman in the country to publish scientific works, and the author of the first ever science fiction novel, "The Blazing World".
When Charles II reopened the theatres in 1660, he ordered that female roles be played by females. Did it really take a king to think of that? Thus, the profession of actress was born! We meet too that famous actress Nell Gwyn, who was also one of the King's many mistresses. She died at 37, but no one said life was easy in the 17th Century for women or for men. If nothing else that should make us pause for thought as we sit behind our screens talking to the world in our centrally heated and air conditioned homes with hot water on tap and cold drinks in the fridge.
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