Frye and Robertson 1999

From Whiki
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Frye, Susan and Karen Robertson, eds. 'Maids and Mistresses, cousins and Queens: Women's Alliances in Early Modern England. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.

Maidservants of London: Sisterhoods of Kinship and Labor, by Ann Rosalind Jones (21-32)

Whitney's "A Modest meane for maids" and the pamphlet "A Letter sent by the Maydens of London" show "the advantages these writers gained by framing their complaints about a servingwoman's lot in the plural 'we,' a speaking position that united such women as a group and strengthened their defense of their usefulness to their city employers and to the commonwealth as a whole" (22)

"Serving in a London household was mandated for any unmarried woman from fourteen to forty years of age by a London statute passed int he fifth year of Elizabeth's reign, in an effort to cut down on vagabonds." (22)
"Whitney's comments on her life in London emphasize the economic instability of her career as a domestic servant." (23)
"What appears at first glance to be a pious rhymed homily advising her sisters on their duties to their employers reveals a darker side of resentment and covert accusation against employers incapable of recognizing the merits -- or even the humanity -- of their maids." (23)
"from stanza to stanza, Whitney's poem rebalances the social power of her two audiences. She addresses masters through her apostrophe to maids, pinpointing employers' abuses of power and reminding them of how much they need these nightly watchers. However indirectly, the poem implies, 'We refrain from attacking you for your vices, even though you attribute all sorts to us.'" (27)
"As the maid and 'maydens' of London remind their employers of their common interests in the private household, they also affirm in public print the interests of all maids bound together in the kinship of labor." (31)