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Modern Love and Poems of the English Roadside, with Poems and Ballads$
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George Meredith, Criscillia Benford, and Rebecca Mitchell

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780300173178

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300173178.001.0001

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Advice Manuals and Social Commentary

Advice Manuals and Social Commentary

(p.215) Advice Manuals and Social Commentary
Modern Love and Poems of the English Roadside, with Poems and Ballads

George Meredith

Yale University Press

This chapter explores the many themes and emotions—angst, jealousy, fear, and other emotives—surrounding “Modern Love” through the context and environment portrayed in the advice manuals and conduct manuals of the Victorian age. Sarah Stickney Ellis's conduct manual, for example, discusses the expectations placed upon a Victorian bride, indicating the proper role of the wife—one that is of constant self-effacement in support of husband and family. William Cobbett, on the other hand, lays down the duties and responsibilities of the husband toward his wife and his family. Thus, these manuals and commentaries compiled in the chapter give a more picturesque view of the plight of Victorian women during the age, such as the reasons for the rise of infidelity. “Modern Love” is, then, one of the many poems to which the advice manuals and social commentary in this chapter give light.

Keywords:   Modern Love, advice manuals, conduct manuals, William Cobbett, Sarah Stickney Ellis, Victorian women, Victorian bride

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