Maids and Mistresses; Women and Country Houses 1500-1950

Ref: C2343810

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. Ladies and interior design. 5. Widows and Spinsters; Independent women. 6. The Servant Problem, Recruiting and Retaining Maids. 7. Ladies in a Changing Society, 1875-1950.

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 course is for a group of around 15 students studying in a live video-learning platform conference and an online digital learning environment platform from the comfort of your own home.
  • 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 be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions

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

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
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here http://www.wea.org.uk/learn-wea/what-can-i-do-next

Download full course information sheet

Maids and Mistresses; Women and Country Houses 1500-1950

Enrolment 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 have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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

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