When women ventured out to a public event, in hope of finding romance, they usually found the men dead drunk
and all-consuming labour it could be. And an account of how a 19th-century farmer’s wife spent her day is humbling.
In another Victorian household, the cook’s temper was as hot as her curries. Sacked from one post by the novelist Janet Storey, Betty went to work for a friend of hers. It proved a short-lived reprieve. “Not long after she had taken up her duties, Mr Sprot, hearing from his wife that what she