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"On the Excessive Influence of Women"

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 4 months ago



Page Contents:


"On the Excessive Influence of Women" by An Old Fogey

Nineteenth Century definitions (Highlighted Pink)

Proper names, historical ideas and references made by the author (Highlighted Blue)

Translations into English (Highlighted Teal)

Editor's additional notes on key Victorian ideas as mentioned by the author (marked parenthetically throughout the text)

Editor's Commentary

Additional Commentary

Works Cited


 "On the Excessive Influence of Women." 

By: An Old Fogey Temple Bar: A London Magazine for Town and Country Readers. 49. (1877): 213-221.


The value of evidence is always thought to be affected by the character of the witness who gives it, and in dealing with the question indicated by the title of this paper, I have no desire to carry more weight than I deserve.  I do not wish to sail under false colours.  I am what I describe myself—an old fogey.  I am no young prig fresh from college, stuffed full with the wisdom of the ancients, and qualified to teach the age forgotten truths by virtue of my rare learning, my exceptional earnestness, and my close connection with the most erudite professors and most pious philosophers of the time.  Neither am I a sour pedant, much less a Calvinistic Philistine, steeped in melancholy religiosity, and inheriting a profound repugnance to cakes and ale.  I am an old fogey, it is true; but I am neither senile nor superannuated.  I am, or have been, a man of the world.  Like the great German poet, I have lived and loved; and if I say no more upon that point, it is precisely because of my old fogeyism, and because in my hottest youth it was not the fashion to talk boastingly in connection with the other sex.  Meminisse juvat.  I have my memories, my little treasures, my gloves, my faded flowers, my locks of hair, like another.  But they are in the most secret of my secret drawers; and my executors will inter them, unopened, along with my mortal remains.  The dead past will bury its dead.




But it is with the present that I have now to deal; with the men and women, the boys and girls, the youths and maidens, whom I see around me.  Don’t think I am altogether out of the running.  “Old fogey” is a vague term, and bears a relative signification.  Never mind how old I am.  It once was bad manners to ask such a question, even “fishingly.”  I was not born last century; I can still canter across country; I cut a respectable figure at tennis; and though I keenly feel the superiority of youth, I can yet make myself agreeable to the youngest of the company, unless, indeed, their ready listening be only complaisance or compassion.  Nevertheless, I am an old fogey; and I am such by virtue of my old-world ideas, of my extreme repugnance to many, if not most, of the signs of so-called progress which I see about me, and, most of all, my dislike for the morals and my something more than dislike for the manners of the present generation.  I am distinctly of opinion that the influence of women has grown, and is growing, until it has become excessive, and that society is seriously suffering from female aggressiveness.  Heaven forbid that I should think it possible for the influence of women to be over great in certain spheres which pious custom and manly tradition have long assigned to them. A philological friend of mine draws a distinction in this matter, which I warmly embrace.  He says the man’s influence should be forensic, or public; the woman’s influence should be domestic, or private.  But the influence of woman nowadays is everywhere.  She invades the market-place, she storms the forum, she directs the stage, she controls art, she arranges morals, she prates metaphysics, she rules philosophy, she directs politics, she is everywhere, in season and out of season; she is rampant in the house, she is turbulent out of it; she is supreme on the hearth, but that does not prevent her from bustling into the stables, usurping the billiard-room, and making herself thoroughly at home among hunting-prints, tobacco pouches, and spittoons. [2] 



The facts will not be contested; it is my conclusion alone that will be gainsayed.  The influence of women, it will be answered, has undoubtedly made great advances in our time, and we may look for yet further strides in the same direction; but the increase of women’s influence must be regarded as among the best signs of the time.  It is a true mark of progress, an unerring proof of growing civilisation, the glory of our age, and the best hope of the future.



Well, let us see if this is so.  It used to be a very common complaint, ten or fifteen years ago, that conversation was a dead art.  People could no longer talk.  During that period there has been a tremendous irruption of women’s tongues into society.  Now, no one will deny that woman’s most signal social distinction, after the charm of her appearance, is her talent for talking.  One would therefore have supposed that the extension of woman’s influence would have improved conversation.  Has it?  I submit that the result has been just the reverse.  She has increased the quantity of talk, but she has diluted and deteriorated the quality.  Most men have no difficulty in remaining silent; there are few women who can resist the opportunity of breaking silence.  They regard taciturnity as equivalent to dullness and indeed almost synonymous with bad manners.  They talk, partly from inclination doubtless, but in no small measure from amiability, and from a desire to do what they think the right thing.  The result is anything but satisfactory.  What they most dread in conversation is a pause, though this may be indispensable, either in order to give a participator in it time to meditate his reply, or to afford some one an opportunity of starting successfully another theme.  But if an interlocutor hesitates where women are present, he is lost.  They have struck in, and in all probability irrelevantly.  They have filled up the to them dreadful gap [sic] . They have started another hare.  In fact, conversation in which women bear an equal part—and there are few of them nowadays, no matter who the male talkers may be, that consider a graceful talent for listening best becomes them—reminds me of nothing so much as a succession of short runs in which a fox is perpetually breaking away, but immediately runs to earth just as quickly, and then another quits covert, and with like provoking brevity is lost to view. [3]    You cannot dig out a fox in conversation, and the consequence is that talk, though most abundant, has become various, desultory, and meaningless.  It makes no difference what the subject is, whether it be high or low, grave or gay, political or literary, ethical or historical, concerning art or concerning the drama.  Women’s method of conducting general conversation contrives to impart to it a broken, purposeless character, and brings it to a speedy termination.  I remember the time when women, whose talents were not insignificant, would sit, apparently interested and certainly respectful listeners, if a subject were started among men of parts, and would wait to mingle in the discussion until they were appealed to.  Nowadays you will almost invariably notice one of two things.  Either the women will show you, possibly they will tell you, that they are ineffably bored by the discussion; or they will bring it to a sharp conclusion by “cutting in” with remarks which have no more to do with the theme in hand than the Tu-whit-tu-whoo of an owl has to do with the orderly march of the planets.



If anyone is disposed to conclude from this plain speaking that I do not appreciate women, women’s talents,  women’s fascination, and even women’s power of conversation, I can only say, on the honour of an old fogey, that he much maligns me.  Perhaps, it may be due to the lingering influences of a chivalric education; but the fact remains that I would much rather talk with one of the opposite sex than with one of my own, unless the latter should happen to be Prince Bismarck, the Pope of Rome, or General Tchernayeff.  Of course one does not care for a conversation with every woman; but equally one does not care for a conversation with every man.  All I mean is that if there were a man to be talked to, and a woman to be talked to, I would take my chance of the latter, as a matter of preference; and that, not from politeness, but from sheer self-interest.  Get a woman alone, and the odds are she will talk well, at least if you have any capacity for carrying on your part of the dialogue.  She has then no audience but yourself; and what I may call her “social anxiety” dies away.  You can make her serious if you like; and you can keep her to one subject if you are determined.  There is no other woman to help her to “go off the rails;” and if you give her confidence by showing that you respect her understanding, her mind begins to play vigorously, and you soon feel yourself in the presence of an organisation in many important respects superior to your own.  But not only does she herself talk well; she makes you talk well, or at any rate tolerably.  Suddenly, a couple of other women enter the room; and desultory nonsense and wandering prattle once more remain supreme.



Then why not always converse with one woman at a time?  For the simple reason that other women will rarely permit you the privilege.  There is nothing they object to so much as that one woman should absorb one man for an hour together; and they at any rate affect to believe that such a thing cannot occur without the pair being engaged in “flirting,” “coquetting,” or I know not what.  That two human beings of different sex should talk seriously together, and without any ulterior object, is apparently inconceivable to them.  They must know better; for we will hope that all but the stupidest and most prudish of them must have done it themselves once or twice in their lives. But they will not tolerate it in each other.  They “chaff” the woman who does it often.  Lucky for her if they do not malign her.  She is sinning against what would seem to be nowadays their cardinal principle, that man, society, the world, should belong to women in general, but should on no account belong to any woman in particular, even for half an hour.  The result is what I have stated.  They get people together; they pack them as closely as they possibly can; they compel them to talk, whether they want to talk or they do not; and they look disapprovingly if any man or woman tries to evade the confusion of tongues which prevails, and to subtract themselves from the sum total of noise and boredom.  Having rendered all true conversation impossible during dinner, they expect the men to follow them as soon as possible into the drawing-room, where the resumption of snippy talk is slightly varied with some snippy music.  Like Dryden’s ‘Duke of Birmingham,’ the conversation they control is everything by starts, and nothing long. [4]  Their notion of a successful evening is one in which the sound of human voice never ceased.  People “seemed to enjoy themselves;” which, nine times out of ten, means that they  made a great effort not to look bored out of their lives.  Like the Chinese in battle, they, in society, confound noise with effect.



It is a common complaint that, during the last twenty years, private luxury and ostentation have greatly increased; and the less practical reformers amongst us are crying out for sumptuary laws.  It is idle to demand any check of that sort in an age of perfect freedom in everything; but, on the word of an old fogey, I firmly believe that the evil might be remedied if only the excessive influence of the ostentatious sex could be controlled.  There is nothing women will not do for appearances.  For appearance’s sake they will endure excruciating martyrdom, whether of body or soul; and they will compel everyone whom they can influence to undergo like torture.  How things look, not how things are, is their perpetual thought and anxiety.  There is a noble and a pathetic side to this characteristic, as indeed there is to all their characteristics.  Nearly all female faults are virtues carried to excess, or in a wrong direction; and, remember, I am not contending against the influence of women, which, I believe to be the best and more useful thing in life, but against their excessive influence. I know no more lovely sight than to behold a frugal housewife, the contented consort of some poor man, putting the best face on what some people would call poverty, making the most of the situation, making a little go a long way, and so comporting herself, and so arranging her household affairs, that none shall guess her anxieties, or divine with what scanty materials she contrives to cut so respectable a figure.  That is the woman of whom the inspired writer said the price of her is as a pearl brought from afar.  She is infinitely more priceless than all the pearls ever hung upon the neck of wealth and beauty.  There are many such—Heaven bless them!—and the best of all men will have to kneel before them as in the presence of a superior divinity.  But, when necessity is no longer the mother of invention, and their ingenuity in “creating an effect” is dictated merely by a desire to shine and to outshine, then the virtue has toppled over into vice.  Corruptio optimi pessima est; and the same woman, who, had she married a poor squire, would have been leading a life of heroism by daily combating his narrow means, and concealing his straits with judicious economy combined now and then with a little pardonable pasteboard, having wed an easy-going plutocrat, becomes the vulgar instigator of opulent display, and devotes her days to a game of ill-bred brag, in which profusion and waste are the counters, and the mortification of others the pool.





Nor does the excessive influence of women in the domestic sphere end with the deterioration of converse or with the increase of ostentation.  Just as their amiability, by impelling them to talk when it would be to everyone’s advantage they should remain silent, is injurious both to the solidity and the brilliance of discourse; and just as their worship of appearance, which, when struggling against adverse circumstances, makes them heroic, renders them, when engaged in mere emulation, mischievous and displeasing; so do their social instincts, which, when kept within due bounds, constitute them the sunshine of life, transform them into a raging fire when allowed to run riot amid all the possibilities of society.  They are so sociable that they have lost all appreciation of solitude.  They dislike the country because it is dull; they pine for town because everybody is there. [5]  Man’s periodical “sulkiness” would of itself probably save him from this consuming passion for gregariousness, even if occupation did not frequently render society for a time not only odious but impossible.  But it is not too much to say that the women who in these days exercise the greatest amount of influence in arranging life, and compelling society to be what it is, hunger perpetually for a round of racketing, visiting, moving about, and what in an astonishing jargon they call “being jolly.”  Luckily their physique is not quite commensurate with their mania for excitement; but the only bounds that can be named to their hunger for “more” is caused by the flagging of the flesh, not the subsidence of the spirits, and the craving of exhausted nature for just a little rest.  If a man attempts to resist this hankering after perpetual motion, they immediately lay siege to his amour propre by telling him that he is allowing his youth to depart, that he will soon have for company a bowl of gruel and a pair of slippers, that he is allowing himself to grow old before his time, that he is getting rusty, that he wants shaking up, in a word that he is an old fogey.



But of what consequence?  There’s the rub.  That inherent and ineradicable love of appearances, of which I have already spoken, and which causes a woman to prefer the look of things to the substance of them, steps in to settle the question.  By ”consequence” she means visible power, influence, and consideration.  She wishes her husband to be a considerable person.  Would she rather that he was a member of Parliament, though of little parliamentary distinction, or a scientific man of much true distinction, but little talked about and less rewarded?  Would she rather that he were an Under-Secretary of State, or in other words, a conspicuous upper clerk, or a poet—say, like Wordsworth or Shelley—the scorn of his generation, though certain to be the delight of the next?  Would she rather that her husband had written the ‘Ode to the Skylark,’ or were Lord Lieutenant of Ireland? The question, alas! requires no answer.





A direct and immediate consequence of the excessive influence of women, as perceived in the aggravated ostentation and rivalry in parade which unquestionably mark the age, is the necessity it imposes upon men, in the character whether of husbands or of aspiring lovers, of dedicating their energies ever more and more to the acquisition of wealth.  The bright exceptions must not take offence because we state the rule; and the rule is that, no matter whom they may love—and poverty, in spite of the Roman satirist, has not yet made men ridiculous in the eyes of women—girls marry the richest men that can be found for them.  Pretty girls are a standing premium upon the pursuit and acquisition of wealth.  The richest man wins. [6]  What a standard of life is thus set up for the ingenuous youth of the nation!  I have spoken freely and handsomely, I trust, of the naturally good instincts of women.  But their most servile adulator would not have the face to pretend that, among their many good and even great qualities, can be enumerated the cherishing of lofty ideals of life.  The weak side of woman is want of imagination, which is necessarily accompanied with a corresponding indifference to things truly great, as distinguished from things good or things powerful.  Left to her own instincts, woman is well content with a small, happy, narrow, cheerful, virtuous, hum-drum, domestic life.  She demands nothing more from her partner than that he shall be a kindly fellow, the husband of her hearth, the father of her children, a not over-worked bread-winner, a respectable citizen, in a word, a pattern paterfamilias.  That is a good and unimpeachable ideal; but it is not a very wide or a very elevated one.  No longer left entirely to her own instincts, but subjected to the instincts acquired in the more complex conditions of an active and struggling society, she readily imbibes a wish that her husband shall become a person of some consequence.





Then see the consequence!  Women, through the excessive influence they now exercise, are perpetually assisting to lower the standard of the objects of life, and of the qualities which deserve admiration and reward.  Their practical dispositions tend to banish all the nobler and less directly remunerative pursuits from existence, to circumscribe the sphere of man’s energies, and to make him a vulgar athlete in a vulgar arena.  There is no more uphill work than trying to inspire women with a feeling of warm patriotism, for instance; and even their love of art is generally little more than an interest in something which may help to decorate their own rooms.  They dislike the great issues.  They have little or no elevation of soul.  They scarcely know what it means.  Their natural instincts are all for the good, the virtuous, the domestic, but still the small.  Their acquired social instincts are all for the magnificent but the mean, for the showy but the sordid. [7]   If you once get them to take an interest in a man’s being something more than the exemplary head of a household, all they then want him to be is rich, conspicuous, and powerful.  They are utterly indifferent to posthumous fame, and not much more concerned about contemporary fame, unless it happens to be synonymous with notoriety.  They would infinitely sooner that their husband’s horse won the Derby than that he wrote ‘Hamlet’ or discovered Neptune [8].



It is not in the nature of things that the influence of women should have attained the proportion it has reached in our days without the consequences being mirrored in those three most faithful of reflectors, religious worship, literature, and the stage.  Perhaps I tread on delicate ground, and show myself more of an old fogey than ever, when I express my distaste for those ecclesiastical fripperies which have of late years invaded the once plain and masculine ceremonies of the Anglican Church [9] .  The Roman Creed is avowedly devised to interest children and fascinate women, and through them to attract, or at least, control men, and accordingly its ceremonials are splendid, pompous, and exciting; though, of course nowhere in theory, yet in some countries in practice, it has made a woman the chief divinity; and its practice is at least justified by success [10].  But it used to be thought that the Reformation—a reformation made by men for men—had driven away sensuousness from Protestant temples, and that English women and children, when in the presence of their God, would have to be satisfied with a male simplicity [11].  But by a combination between women and certain ecclesiastical Epicenes, the vestments, the incense, the bowings and scrapings, the auricular confession, and the mystic dogmas of Papal worship are swarming around Reformed altars; and, thanks to the excessive influence of women, the church is being rapidly approximated to the theatre [12].



And in the theatre itself, what has the prevailing, the predominant influence of women done for us?  It may be said that it has purged the drama of coarse and offensive language, and, old fogey as I am, I cheerfully allow that it has had this excellent result.  But whilst exorcising one devil, it has let in a number of others, not so palpably objectionable, but more subtly noxious.  Our ears are no longer offended by foul language, but our eyes have seen, and still see, much that is scarcely calculated to edify, and which meets with no protest from women; while our sense is insulted by paltry or sensational plays which our manly forefathers would have hissed off the boards. [13]    The notion that the world was made principally for women, and for those objects which women have most at heart, has quickly been seized upon by managers, and one usually goes away from the theatre with the feeling that it exists either for the purpose of exhibiting what are called female charms or of appealing to those sentiments which are generally supposed to be of a feminine cast.  The heroic has been driven from the stage, and the domestic and sentimental have usurped the ground it once proudly trod.  The wars of kings, the clash of arms, the wrongs of a Lear, the tottering wickedness of a Macbeth, the jealous fury and tenderness of an Othello, the hearty laughter of a Falstaff, the incantations of witches and the frolics of fairies, have been exchanged for the sorrows of a blacksmith, the peculations of a city clerk, the simpering of waiting-maids, the virtues of ticket-of-leave men, and the effete puns and horse-collar grins of inconsequent burlesques.  The sentimental and the frivolous—these are truly feminine states of mind; and the excessive influence of women have transferred them to the British theatre.  People avowedly go to the theatre to have a “good laugh” or a “good cry.”  That, as a great German critic has said, it is any part of the office of the drama “to purify by terror” never enters the heads of feminine minds, which refuse to travel beyond the precincts of their own concerns, or to be lifted to the height of great arguments from the petty premises and conclusions of their own individual lot [14] .



From this same unfortunate deterioration literature has not escaped.  The excessive influence of women created the Circulating Library, and the circulating library is the foster-nurse of worthless books, and the unjust stepmother of good ones.  Women read far more than men; they have more time for doing so, and being the larger constituency, therefore, it is they who decide for the most part what books shall be written and what books shall be circulated.  In former times, they read the books men told them were worth reading; now they read of their own accord the books they themselves know not to be worth reading.  It is the interest of the circulating libraries to take a great many copies of a book which the proprietors know many people will read, rather than a few copies of a book which they know few people will read.  Hence they take as many copies as possible of the largely read book, and having taken them, they strive to get as many of their subscribers as possible to read them.  On the other hand, they take as few copies as possible of the comparatively little read book, and having done so, they strive to discourage people from reading it or asking for it.  The books spontaneously read by the many are nearly always worthless; the books spontaneously read by the few are nearly always worthy.  Women demand novels, sensational travels, and shallow biographies.  They are the majority of readers, and literature is adapted to their tastes.  And not only have they caused the supply of novels to be multiplied; they have caused their quality to be lowered.  The extension of journalism as opposed to literature cannot, perhaps, be laid at their door.  But of journals serious, and journals frivolous, they prefer the latter, and their choice is for a daily paper which prints jaunty leaders, and for a weekly paper which is crammed with gossip, personality, and scandal [15] .



But I am an old fogey, and perhaps I shall only be scoffed at as a grey-beard and a bald-head.  Still, I have had my say, and I feel better for having liberated my mind.  But before I restore my pen to its stand, let me add one word more.  The influence of women has been and is excessive; but it is the fault of men that it has become so.  Rulers are never dethroned save through their own feebleness or want of judgment.  Old fogey as I am, I believe that it is man’s proper function to be the ruler, head, and chief, in all the great concerns of life, and that it is the woman’s province to take the cue from him, and to follow more or less in his footsteps.  “It is in subjection to the influences of women,” said an Italian of the sixteenth century, “that I have learnt the government of men.”  But he was speaking of the natural, proper, and perennial influence of women, which all men should undergo if they are to come to much.  In subjection to their unnatural, improper, excessive, and, I trust, transitory influence, men of to-day have lost the government of everything.  They should reassert their headship in the interests of women and the world.  For let excessively influential women beware.  Subordination is the best safeguard of their just influence.  When their excessive influence has once worked all the mischief of which it is capable, they will be thrust aside by reawakening male sense, and their controlled licence will make them then regard a return to their proper position as a loss of freedom and an irksome restraint.



Notes on the Text:


Nineteenth Century Definitions (in Alphabetical Order):

Note: All definitions researched in the Oxford English Dictionary


Brag: A game of cards, almost identical to modern-day poker.  The author here defines a Victorian woman's life as nothing more than a card game wherein the mortification of others is at stake, and score is kept based on "profusion and waste."


Chaff:  To banter in a light, non-serious manner without anger but so as to try the good nature or temper of the person.  This word probably derived from cadger's slang, and is still considered to be slang.  It is usually apologized for by inverted commas, such as the author uses in this text.


Counters:  apparatus for keeping account in games


Coquetting:  Flirting, used primarily to describe women.


Epicenes:  Adapted to both sexes; worn or inhabited by both sexes.


Forum: courthouse, place of meeting.  In this article, the author is upset that women are invading the courthouse and meeting houses, places that were previously "man's territory."


Hare:  "he who lays the 'scent' (usually paper torn into fragments) which the hounds follow in the sport 'hare and hounds.'"  Used figuratively and literally. 


Hunting-prints:  Prints were engravings that were hung decoratively.  While the Oxford English Dictionary does not have a definition for "hunting-prints," they were most likely prints that depicted scenes of fox-hunting. typically depicting scenes of fox-hunting.


Paterfamilias: Term for the male head of the household.


Plutocrat:  A member of a plutocracy (a state or society governed by the wealthy).


Pool:  The collective stakes put forward by players in a game, round or hand.


Prig: “A person who is offensively punctilious and precise in speech or behaviour; a person who cultivates or affects supposedly correct views on culture, learning or morals, which offend or bore others; a conceited or self-important or didactic person.”



Historical Concepts and References (in Alphabetical Order):


Calivinstic Phillistine: The Reformed theology of John Calvin and several of his predecessors and contemporaries developed into a significant international movement of Calvinism between the middle of the sixteenth century and the beginning of the seventeenth century.  Some Calvinist beliefs include an understanding that salvation occurs by grace alone, which is the theory of predestination.  They also believed in the two forms of Christ as divine and human and maintained that “the risen Jesus could only be bodily present in heaven” (Bagchi 131).  For a detailed explanation of Calvinist theology, see: “John Calvin and Later Calvinism: the Identity of the Reformed Tradition.”  The Cambridge Companion to Reformation Theology.  Ed. David Bagchi and David C. Steinmetz.  Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2004.


Chinese in Battle  A likely reference to The Art of War.  Editor could not find direct quote to support this theory.


Circulating Library: A method of bringing books to people who could not afford to purchase them in monthly parts (Perkin 103).


General Tchernayeff:  Editor cannot find any record of the existence of said person. 


Inspired writer:  Writer of the Book of Proverbs.  Verse 31:10 reads: "When one finds a worthy wife, her value is far beyond pearls" (Bible, 663).


Lord Lieutenant of Ireland:  In the nineteenth century, the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland served as the King's representative as well as head of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.  He was the agent and representative of the King and Queen of Great Britain, and never was answerable to the Irish parliament or the people.  According to Wikipedia, "by the mid to late 19th century the post had declined from being a powerful political office to that of being a symbolic quasi-monarchical figure who reigned, not ruled, over the Irish adminstration.  Instead it was the Chief Secretary of Ireland who became central, with he, not the Lord Lieutenant, sitting on occasion in the British cabinet."  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord_Lieutenant_of_Ireland


Ode to the Skylark:  Poem written by Percy Bysshe Shelley.  The poem is also referred to as "To a Skylark" rather than "Ode to a Skylark."  A skylark is a small European bird that only sings while in flight and usually when it is too high to be clearly visible.  The poem is not one of Shelley's more famous works, but perhaps it was a favorite poem of the author of this article.  (Reiman 304) 


Pope of Rome:  At the time, Pope Pius IX.  Known for proclaiming the dogma of the Immaculate Conception in 1854 as well as for persuading the Vatican Council to declare the dogma of Papal Infallibility in 1870 (the notion that the Pope has "supreme apostolic authority" when speaking as head of the Church regarding faith and morals).  Not surprisingly, many British citizens were not in favor of this new method of control on behalf of the Roman Catholic church, thus it is interesting that our author has such high regard for the Pope.  See http://www.victorianweb.org/religion/Papal_Infallibility.html.


Prince Bismarck:  Prussian and German statesman of the nineteenth century.  At the time this text was written (1877), Bismarck was in the middle of a 30-year period serving King William I, first as Prime Minister and leader of Prussia and Germany (1862-1871), and later as the first chancellor of the German Empire following the 1871 Franco-Prussian War victory.  Interestingly, he viewed both socialism and Catholicism as threatening to the new German state.  He banned socialist groups and instituted the Kulturkampf (struggle for civilization) that mandated state approval of clerical appointments and also banned several Catholic organizations.  Because of the animosity and threat Bismarck felt regarding Catholicism, it is interesting to note how the author seems to hold a high esteem of both the prince and the Pope.  See note below and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otto_von_Bismarck


Roman satirist:  The Roman satirist referred to here is Juvenal.  The line is taken from the third satire, line 152: "Bitter poverty has no harder pang than that it makes men ridiculous."  http://www.billinquotes.com/index.php/Juvenal  The subject matter of this satire is contemporary Rome (the estimated date is soon after 100 A.D.), and the horrors that accompany the influence of Greek and other foreigners including poverty, the usurping of Roman positions by foreigners, urban sprawl and all the other unavoidable everyday dangers (Ramage, 147-8).


Shelley:  Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822).  A founding poet of English Romanticism.  His wife Mary Shelley led the struggle to establish her husband's reputation following his death in 1822.  When this text was published he was being recognized as a significant poet, though Shelley was not accepted as a canonical figure in the 1880s.  (Reiman 539)  For a comprehensive study of Shelley's works and criticism, see:

 Shelley's Poetry and Prose. 2nd ed.  Ed. Donald H. Reiman and Neil Fraistat.  New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2002.


Sumptuary Laws:  Laws which attempt to regulate habits of consumption.  From the Middle Ages to the Seventeenth Century, sumptuary laws were put in place in order to establish and ensure a hierarchy of classes.  These laws would prevent commoners from being able to dress in the same manner as aristocrats, and were used primarily for social discrimination.  The author's reference to a demand for sumptuary laws refers not to social classes here but to women--he infers that laws could prevent women from spending too much money and being too extravagent.  It is interesting to note that he refers here not to a social hierarchy in terms of economic status but rather in terms of gender.  For more information on sumptuary laws, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sumputary_law.


Wordsworth: Reference to William Wordsworth (1770-1850).  Along with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Wordsworth published what is considered his most influential work, "Lyrical Ballads" in 1798.  This work is credited with igniting the English Romantic movement.  At the time of its publication however, critics were not nearly as enthusiastic about the worth of the collection.  Regardless of reviews, Lyrical Ballads sold out and a new edition was released in 1800. (Barker 154-188)



Translations into English (in alphabetical order):


Amour propreFrench.  Translates into English as self-esteem. 



Corruptio optimi pessima est:  Latin phrase meaning "The corruption of the best is the worst."  For an extensive, though incomplete, list of latin phrases translated into English, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Latin_phrases


Meminisse Juvat: Rough translation based on Latin dictionary: To remember youth.  http://www.archives.nd.edu/cgi-bin/lookit.pl?latin=meminisse+juvat



Editor's Notes on the text:


[1] Temple Bar: A Magazine for Town and Country:  A magazine published and circulated from 1860-1902.  Its primary audience was the upper middle class, and it included serial fiction, poetry, London poems and literary reviews (Victorian Periodicals).  The magazine was notorious for its mysterious authors, and was praised for its "perfect freedom from the laws of chaste morality" ( Affairs ).  The essay "On the Excessive Influence of Women" appears to be an anonymous editorial directed at upper middle class men regarding the status of upper middle class women. 


[2] Women in Public: Nineteenth century middle-class women were not confined to the privacy of their homes but rather functioned as public figures of their class and culture.  According to Eleanor Gordon, “women as arbiters of taste, managers of display and consumers of culture were […] central to the creation of middle-class identity and culture” (6).  The author of this article is unsatisfied with the role of women moving from in the house to outside of the house, a role which the changing tastes of the Victorian era demanded for social survival. 


[3] Fox Hunting: Traditionally a sport enjoyed by the middle and upper classes.  The tradition of fox hunting dates as far back as 1066. William the Conquerer is credited with bringing the sport to Britan, though the more contemporary form of the sport dates back only to 1534 when farmers would have their hounds chase foxes for pest control.  The hunt begins when the hounds are placed in bushy areas where foxes retreat in the daylight hours.  The dogs then pursue the fox, called the chase, and the hunters (on horseback) follow.  For more information on the history and current status of fox hunting, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fox_hunting.


[4] John Dryden was a Restoration poet, playwright, critic and translator.  He is considered "the commanding literary figure of the last four decades of the seventeenth century" (Norton 2071).  His poems were concerned with every essential aspect of the life of his times, including politics, religion, philosophy and the arts.  He was named Poet Laureate in 1668, and his greatest achievement is thought to be his satiric verse including Mac Flecknoe.  Later in his career, (1693-16977) Dryden translated works by Horace, Juvenal, Ovid, Lucretius, and Theocritus.  His greatest translation achievement came in the form of his translation of the works of Virgil (Norton, 2072).  The author of this essay mistakingly refers to the Duke of Buckingham as the "Duke of Birmingham."  The Duke of Buckingham was a contemporary playwright of Dryden's, and the two writers were in an ongoing feud beginning in 1667.  Dryden rebukes the duke in his poem "Absalom and Achitophel," using the biblical figure of "Zimri" to represent the duke.  The lines referring to Zimri to which the author of this essay refers (543-48) follow:


Some of their chiefs were princes of the land:

In the first rank of these did Zimri stand;

A man so various, that he seemed to be

Not one, but all man's epitome;

Stiff in opinions, always in the wrong,

Was everything by starts, and nothing long; (Norton 2088-89)



[5] Town and Country:  The nineteenth century saw considerable urban growth, particularly between the years of 1811-1831 (Rodger 2).  One reason for this was improved sanitation which led to a decline in mortality rates.  Another, perhaps more significant, reason was the growth of industry in cities, particularly London.  The appearance of the railway in most towns in the 1840s made it easier and more feasible to relocate from the outlying country areas into the city.  The growth of urban population meant a growth in urban entertainment and activity. (Rodger 1-39).  The author of this text chastises women for pining for the excitement of the city during what would have seemed a considerably exciting time in London growth and history.


[6] Women and marriage: The idea that women chose their husbands based on his wealth, while not unfounded, is not as vicious as the author of this text claims.  Until the end of the nineteenth century,men acquired all the wealth of the woman he married upon engagement.  While this was by no means an example of fair treatment between the sexes, there were certain benefits that came with women’s inferior status in marriage.  Financially, a woman's husband was responsible for all of her debts, and he was obliged to support her as long as they lived together.  In 1870, the Married Women’s Property Act was passed which granted women the right to maintain their own income without automatically forfeitting it to their husbands as well as the right to any personal property acquired as an heiress.  The rights to all other property remained those of the husband (Perkin 73-92).  Thus, while middle-class women had some rights to their own income and property in 1877, it is still logical that many would seek a husband who could financially sustain them. 


[7] Women in the domestic sphere: The phrase “The Angel in the House” derives from a poem of the same title, written by Coventry Patmore in 1854-1856.  The poem as well as the phrase in the context of the Victorian era refer to the idealization of women, which is crucial to the theory of women’s separate domestic sphere (Hellerstein 134-140).  However, according to Perkin, women in the domestic sphere had their own ideals of what constituted womanhood.  She claims that “most women [pretended] to be as men wished them to be, but at the same time [developed] their own identities” (86).  The subordination of middle-class wives led to their demand for reformation, and ultimately the Married Women’s Property Act (see note above). 


[8]  Neptune was discovered on September 23, 1846. Both French astronomer Urbain Le Verrier and English astronomer John Couch Adams are credited with the discovery.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neptune


[9] Anglican Church: Until the 1850s the Church of England or the Anglican Church was the most powerful religious group in the nation.  Martin Luther's protest in 1517 led to the development of the Protestant religion.  In the 1550s the English Church changed from Catholic to Protestant under the reign of Edward VI.  In 1558 Elizabeth I, after a brief but bloody return of Catholicism to England by Mary I, codified the Anglican religion in the Act of Uniformity, the Act of Supremacy, and the 39 articles.  These articles, based on the work of Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury from 1533-1556, layed out the foundations for the Anglican faith.  Most of them condemn rituals and beliefs practiced by the Catholic faith and are written in such a way as to incite multiple ways of interpretation (Thirty-nine articles).  By the beginning of the nineteenth century, the Anglican Church remained the Church of England, but it had to expand its doctrines due in part to the rising number of upper-class Anglicans who desired a moderate and practical religion that did not insist on doctrine and would instead allow them to worship in peace.  The rising number of Catholics in the nineteenth century was due significantly to the Catholic Emancipation Act of 1829, which allowed Catholics to sit on British Parliament in Westminster.  This meant that Catholics had potential power over the Church of England by being allowed to vote on matters involving the Church.  The mid nineteenth century saw a disoriented Church of England with many of its leaders, ideologically speaking, acting "perilously close to Catholicism" (Wohl, Catholic Emancipation).  For more information on the Church of England, see http://www.victorianweb.org/religion/denom1.html.

It is interesting to note that the author of this text is reacting against the rise of Catholicism, and seems to be blaming women rather than the government for this change in the Church of England. 


[10]  Roman Creed:  The Roman Creed is currently believed to have been created by the Apostles during Pentecost when they were still under the direct influence of the Holy Spirit, though this is not accepted as dogma.  The creed proclaims the beliefs of the Church.  All points of doctrine in it are part of the Roman Catholic faith, thus Catholics are generally content to accept it "in the form and in the sense that it has been authoritatively expounded by the living voice of the Church:" (Thurston).  Protestants on the other hand accept it only as representative of the evangelical teaching of the Apostlic age.  The author of this article refers to a change in the creed, and yet there is no evidence of a wording change since the second century A.D.  The woman he refers to as being made "chief divinity" is probably the Virgin Mary.  One line of the creed states: "Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary" (Thurston). 


[11]  “A reformation made by men for men”: The Reformation was a movement that current scholars place between 1400 and 1650, the “long sixteenth century” (Bagchi 3).  It was a religious reaction to the earlier religious tendencies of the Middle Ages in which the Protestant religion replaced Catholicism as the dominant religious ideology.   Bagchi and Steinmetz refer to the “confessionalization” thesis of the Reformation, which suggests that “the systems inspired by the ‘great men’ of theology, and implemented by the ‘great men’ of state,” had a tremendous impact on the everyday life of individuals during the sixteenth century (2).  As far as women were concerned, the clergy wife came to be representative of how all women in Protestant England should behave.  She was submissive, obedient to her husband as well as a “calm and experienced companion, ready to give advice and help to parishoners” (MacCulloch, 631).  Women in the days of the Reformation were expected to remain docile and obedient to their husbands and their leaders, the loss of which the author of “The Excessive Infuence of Women” laments.


[12]  Church and Theatre: For religious and moral purposes, many members of the Protestant religion would not go near a theatre, whether because of the language and morality of the play itself or the audience, particularly the appearance of prostitutes.  By the mid to late nineteenth century, theatre managers had made a concerted effort to make the theatre more respectable.  The managers as well as the actors “made themselves as middle class and utterly respectable as possible” (Booth 22).  Members of the clergy were regular attendees of the theatre in the late nineteenth century.



[13]  London theatre was drastically changed with the Theatres Act of 1843.  It was an amendment to the regime established in 1832 under the Licensing Act 1737. Under this license, the Lord Chamberlain had complete control over what was allowed to be performed onstage.  Plays had to be submitted for a licence before they could be performed, which could be revoked at any time.  This act also gave theatres the freedom to play any sort of drama while it tightened censorship.  The legal right of Lord Chamberlain lasted until 1968.  For more information see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theatres_Act_1843 and Booth, 145-146.

QueenVictoria was an avid theatre patron, which only encouraged the expansion of the theatre as a means of entertainment in nineteenth century England, especially in London.  (Booth 1-2) 

With the rise of the middle class in the nineteenth century, theatre became an activity divided into "upper brow" middle-class theatre in London's West End and penny theatres for young working-class men and women.  Middle class women were in "the money-making section of society," which meant that they could not afford the extravagences enjoyed by the upper middle class and/or the aristocracy.  Those that Perkin refers to as "the more worldly" middle class women were entertained by the theatre.  Some even had space in their homes for private amateur theatricals.  The working class on the other hand went to performances that were primarily performed in regular playhouses, saloons and fairground booths.  The entertainers were strolling actors, cheap circuses or penny equestrial shows.  Many of these performances were derogatory toward women and were full of double entendres.  Perhaps it is to this fact that the author refers when he argues that plays have been written and re-written to please the interest of women.  (Perkin)


[14] The author of this text refers to a number of Elizabethan plays, which were still being performed in the early nineteenth century.  In fact, until the 1840s, British theatre consisted of poetic tragedy, verse and prose comedy, farce, melodrama, pantomime and extravaganza.  However, the growth of cities and industries along with the expansion of population, revolution abroad, new technology meant that patrons demanded a new form of theatre.  The new form of serious drama that emereged from the nineteenth century was melodrama.  As Booth claims, melodrama "contains every possible ingredient of popular appeal" (150).  This type of drama appealed to both the middle class and the working class, though in different manners.  The characters in middle class, or West End as Booth refers, drama had to rise in social status in order to reflect the status of the audience.  Working class melodrama on the other hand offered characters and settings taken from urban working-class life.  They provided an escape from the long days of labour and the rough streets of London.  Melodrama is the unique contribution that the Victorian era made to English drama, and it was a dominant form of drama and theatrical entertainment for a hundred years.  The author of this text however seems to be concerned not with the divide between the middle and working classes but rather between men and women.  He blames women rather than the Victorian society for the changes that took place in theatre in the nineteenth century and accuses them of only seeing in a work of drama their own life. And yet, according to Booth, Victorian drama provided a release from everyday life, "a refuge, however brief, in romantic fantasy" (151). 

For a detailed explanation of the kinds of drama being performed in Victorian theatre including melodrama see Booth 141-209.


[15] Women and reading: A significant amount of novels were written especially for women in the nineteenth century, ranging in society novels, mystery novels and romances.  Authors such as Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters created women with independent minds.  Monthly magazines also emerged which were aimed at a middle class market and published stories, poems, book reviews, notes on concerts and plays, as well as articles on travel, music and painting.  Editors realized that middle-class women were cut off from society.  They were removed from their family networks when they moved outside the cities into the suburbs, making it difficult to form close friendships with people from whom they could seek advice.  Thus books such as The Young Wife’s Companion as well as magazines emerged as a means of giving advice and tips for maintaining a househould and raising children. 



Editor's Commentary on the Text:


I at first categorized this as a work of satire, yet after delving into it and researching the main points that the writer argues, I believe that when it was originally published, this would have been seen by many men as a relevent argument against the rising power of women.  This article offers what could at best be called a misogynistic view of Victorian women.  The writer claims to appreciate women's talents, yet the only thing he considers them to be capable of performing well is conversation, a talent that can only be mastered by an individual woman rather than by women as a whole.  Further, he seems to blame women for everything, from the change in tolerence for Catholics to the expansion of the theatre.  While aware of the main political and religion concerns surrounding him and also clearly well read based on the number of references he makes to works of literature and the bible, the writer does not strike me as a scholar, or even a very educated person.   A lot of his facts are skewed, from the name of the Duke of Buckingham to the seeming non-existence of General Tchernayeff.  Nonetheless, this article is a completely candid approach to one man's opinion of the status of women in the late nineteenth century.  He does not reveal his identity as anyone other than "an old fogey," a fact which leads me to believe that there was a reason he did not want his name attached.  The anonymity allows for certain freedoms, such as being able to say what he wants to say with no support for his arguments or references for his "facts."  For example, he makes very generic statements regarding women, such as they will always choose frivolous reading as opposed to serious reading when presented with the option, which leads me to believe that he bases most of this article on nothing more concrete than personal experience. The term "old-fogey" is vague in terms of his age.  He could range anywhere from 30 years old to 100 years old.  Given that he remembers a time when women were more submissive, and that the mid to late nineteenth century saw women gaining more and more power in the home and in public, leads me to believe that he witnessed first-hand the drastic changes that took place amongst Victorian women from the beginning to the end of the nineteenth century.  The article then has historical significance in that it reflects what at least one man, if not a majority or at least an entire group of men, felt regarding Victorian women.  It would be interesting to read this in conjunction with a feminine view of Victorian England to compare the concepts and actions that the Old Fogey felt detracted from the Victorian era with what a Victorian woman felt regarding the status of Victorian women.  I suspect they would reveal significantly different ideas about the social status and significance of women in nineteenth century England.





 Additional Commentary:


Nicole Bryant, March 17th 2008

I find this article fascinating for many reasons, especially the ways in which this author plays to his audience. This journal was intended for an audience of middle to upper-class readers, and the author knows it. He makes multiple references that belittle lower or less wealthy classes through praise. For example, when he talks of the pretty humble housewife that is more valuable than the pearl, the fox hunt references, and the references to theatre and literature, this Old Fogey is assuming that the reader will be familiar (and proud to be familiar) with all of those cultured references and certainly wouldn't want his wife to be so ostentatious that a woman of less social standing would be more appealing than his upperclass wife. Furthermore, the foreign language quips assume an educated readership. Eventhough Fogey notes that women too often prefer the richest man, the alternative is not a man of less social standing, but a man of terrific scientific intelligence or creativity equal to Wordsworth--categories that still require a high level of education and free time. Fogey isn't advocating women to swap the richest men for the blacksmith. I researched Punch for my aritcle and found distinct differences between its language and references compared to Fogey's journal. What a difference audience can make!


SKhan, March 21, 2008

An interesting article that addresses perhaps one of the most talked about topics of the Victorian period, that of the nature and role of women.  The writer of the article sets up himself in a rather fascinating and particular manner.  He makes sure that he is identified with the older generation having had his share of experience.  So as to say that he knows how things should be.  In this manner he is able to build credibility of his being a qualified speaker of the topic.  Whether he is in fact, is very questionable. He contends that he is not against the influence of women but rather their excessive influence.  But his bold assertions of how women with their new gained liberties are becoming a nuisance to society do not depict him as being kind to the female sex in any manner.  In agreement with the editor, this article does represent a very misogynistic view of Victorian women.  The writer is essentially taking the opportunity to educate the men in the ways in which they themselves are letting the women take over their sphere and how they should wake up and take charge.  For if they do not, the women have the capacity to influence everything from the change in tolerance for Catholics to the expansion of the theatre.  Interestingly enough even with such an influence, women were not able to gain the right to vote until much later, only having to contend with divorce and property rights that took years in the making.  It also appears that the author would have women influence the course of social, political and religious matters on their powers of conversation alone, which one may say is quite a feat.  In addition, I want to note two points of interest relating to the article.  First, perhaps a concern for the high cost of married living as seen in the way young women are criticized for their materialistic expectations, which might lead to marriage postponing or marriage-eliminating effects.  This might be a reason for the idea of the “proper time to marry,” which is said to be in emergence in the 1840s.  Second, the author’s view on female conversation is something that for me reverberates in E.M. Forster’s Passage to India, where he is most harsh toward Englishwomen, whom he depicts as tremendously racist, self-righteous, and viciously condescending to the native population via their conversation.  Ultimately, as the editor suggests contrasting the article’s point of view with a feminine view would give an excellent insight into how the two genders compare in their ideas about social status and significance of women.  Relying solely on the generous opinion of the Old Fogey appears unadvisable for one would only have one side of the discussion and a biased one at that.    



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                Works Cited



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 "Affairs in London."  The New York Times.  (9 Nov. 1860).  24 Feb. 2008.

              < http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?_r=1&res=9806E2DE1630E134BC4153DFB767838B679FDE&oref=slogin>


"Amour Propre."  Roget’s II: The New Thesaurus, 3rd ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1995. <.bartleby.com/62/35/A0063500.html.> 12 Feb. 2008.


Barker, Juliet.  Wordsworth: A Life.  New York: Harper Collins, 2000. 


Booth, Michael R.  Theatre in the Victorian Age.  Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1991.


Cawley, Kevin.  Latin Dictionary and Grammar Aid. 20 Dec. 2007.  25 Feb. 2008.  <http://archives.nd.edu/latgramm.htm>


Cody, David.  "The Church of England."  The Victorian Web: Literature, History and Culture in the Age of Victoria.  17 March 2000.  25 Feb. 2008.



Dryden, John.  "Absalom and Achitophel."  The Norton Anthology of English Literature Volume I.  7th ed.  Ed. M.H. Abrams.  New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2000.  2077-2099.


"Fox Hunting."  Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia.  25 Feb. 2008.  24 Feb. 2008.  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fox_hunting>


"John Dryden."  The Norton Anthology of English Literature Volume I.  7th ed.  Ed. M.H. Abrams.  New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2000.  2071-72.


"Juvenal."  Wiki Quote.  20 Feb. 2008.  <http://www.billionquotes.com/index.php/Juvenal>


"List of Latin Phrases."  Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia.  17 Feb. 2008.  24 Feb. 2008.  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Latin_phrases>


"Lord Lieutenant of Ireland."  Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia.  23 Feb. 2008.  24 Feb 2008.  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord_Lieutenant_of_Ireland>


"Neptune."  Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia.  25 Feb. 2008.  17 Feb. 2008.  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neptune>


"Otto Von Bismarck."  Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia.  24 Feb. 2008.  15 Feb. 2008. < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otto_von_Bismarck>


Oxford English Dictionary.  2008.  Oxford University Press.  12 Feb. 2008.  <http://dictionary.oed.com.ezproxy.emich.edu/>


Perkin, Joan.  Victorian Women.  New York: New York UP, 1993.


Ramage, Edwin S., et. al.  Roman Satirists and Their Satire: The Fine Art of Criticism in Ancient Rome.  Park Ridge, NJ: Noyes Press, 1974.


Shelley, Percy Bysshe.  "To a Skylark."  Shelley's Poetry and Prose. 2nd ed.  Ed. Donald H. Reiman and Neil Fraistat.  New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2002.


Shelley's Poetry and Prose. 2nd ed.  Ed. Donald H. Reiman and Neil Fraistat.  New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2002.


"Sumptuary Laws."  Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia.  14 Jan. 2008.  12 Feb. 2008.  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sumptuary_law>


"Theatres Act 1843."  Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia.  7 Sep. 2007.  17 Feb. 2008.  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theatres_Act_1843>


The New American Bible.  Stephen J. Hartdegen, gen. ed.  Iowa Falls: Catholic World Press, 1991. 


"The Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion."  The Victorian Web: Literature, History and Culture in the Age of Victoria.  Dec. 2001.  25 Feb. 2008.  <http://www.victorianweb.org/religion/39articles.html>


Thurston, Herbert.  "The Apostles Creed."  New Advent: Catholic Encyclopedia.  Trans. Donald J. Boon.  2007. 24 Feb. 2008.  <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01629a.htm>


"Victorian Periodicals."  Victorian Popular Novels: The Website for Discerning Readers.  26 Nov. 2007.  24 Feb. 2008.  <http://www.geocities.com/helenvict0r/VicPeriod.html>


Wohl, Anthony S.  "Catholic Emancipation."  The Victorian Web: Literature, History and Culture in the Age of Victoria.  6 July 2002.  24 Feb. 2008.  <http://www.victorianweb.org/religion/cath2.html>


Wohl, Anthony S.  "Papal Infallibility."  The Victorian Web: Literature, History and Culture in the Age of Victoria.  4 April 2002.  12 Feb. 2008. 




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 Kate Williams  Eastern Michigan University  Lit 565
 Nicole Bryant  Eastern Michigan University  Lit 565






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