|Charlotte Bronte - Ex-governess and Author
|Bronte wrote about Governess, Jane Eyre
a Governess, on Handsome Terms.
– a comfortable home, but without salary, is offered to any lady wishing for a situation as governess in a gentleman’s
family, residing in the country, to instruct two little girls in music, drawing , and English; a thorough knowledge of the
French language is required."
women who were short on money found employment as governesses. A governess was
often in a difficult and lonely position because her background set her apart from the servants but due to her position,
she registered lower on the social scale than her employer, regardless of thier similar backgrounds. Therefore, she belonged nowhere but in the nursery with the children.
Qualifications for Governesses were inconsistent. However the
Bronte sisters, (and Charlotte's character, Jane Eyre) were trained in History, Geography, Globes, Grammar, Writing, Arithmetic,
Needlework, Housework, Music and Drawing. Some governesses, like the Rivers sisters who practiced German together in "Jane
Eyre" had high aspiritions and worked on their own to gain additional knowledge and make themselves more marketable
to high income families.