Maids and Mistresses; Women and Country Houses 1500 – 1950

Ref: C2227799

This course looks at the roles women have played in English Country Houses 1500-1950. Mistresses as hostesses, managers and decorators; maids as ever more important workers making a luxurious life possible. The weekly sessions : 1. Introduction and Heiresses. 2. Tudor and Stuart Mistresses and Households. 3. Restoration and Georgian maids; creating the modern household. 4. Mothers and Heirs. 5. Ladies and interior design. 6. Feeding and Cleaning the household in the 18th and 19th Centuries. 7. Widows and Spinsters; Independent women. 8. The Servant Problem, Recruiting and Retaining Maids. 9. Ladies in a Changing Society, 1875-1950. 10. Maids after 1900; increasing work in an age of labour saving devices.

Course aim

This course aims to reveal the importance of women as mistresses, owners and servants in English Country Houses from 1500 to 1950.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • You will need your own personal email address so that you’re able to login to the WEA’s digital learning platform: WEA Canvas. You will need to be able to understand how to follow URL links to pages on the internet. If you want to understand more about Canvas please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline
  • You will need to be able to follow links to join our WEA live video learning platform: WEA Zoom. If you’d like to understand more about our video learning platform, Zoom please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline and http://bit.ly/ZoomSpec
  • This is a live lecture delivered by a subject specialist in an online webinar video learning platform. You will need to be able to access the internet on a device with speakers or earphones. There will be opportunities to take part in discussions and chats. If you’d like to know how to use Zoom please visit: http://bit.ly/ZoomSpec
  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Recognise the importance of the financial role of mistresses in Country Houses.
  • Understand how women could own great estates.
  • Identify how important women were in creating the style of country houses.
  • Analyse how the roles of female servants changed across the period.
  • Recognise how working as a country house servant could fit into a working class woman’s life.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas will be used to provide resources or to support lessons, enable assessment, provide learner feedback and for other activities for individuals away from the course. If you want to understand more about our digital learning platform please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline
  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor

What else do I need to know?

  • What you need: You will need an internet connection, speakers, a microphone and a webcam so that you can use our video learning platform, Zoom. If you’d like to understand more Zoom please visit: http://bit.ly/ZoomSpec
  • You will need a personal email address to join the WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas so that you can receive resources, record your progress and achievement and to work with others and share ideas. If you want to understand more about our digital learning platform please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation

Download full course information sheet

Maids and Mistresses; Women and Country Houses 1500 – 1950

Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2020
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions
  • I declare that the address I have provided is correct and that I will provide evidence of this and my eligibility to live and work in the UK

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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