“A Room of Her Very Own”

Privacy and Leisure in the Victorian Girl's Bedroom

in Girlhood Studies
Sonya Sawyer FritzUniversity of Central Arkansas sfritz@uca.edu

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In this article I analyze various representations of the Victorian girl's experiences with the bedroom in order to illuminate how the Victorian ideal often erased for girls the distinction between public and private that the bedroom created in the home, even as this room became more and more common as a private space allocated to girls. Though it offered girls opportunities to pursue their own interests and desires, the sanctuary of the bedroom also proved to be complicated and compromised by the familial responsibilities that followed girls there. I argue that Victorian portrayals of the girl's relationship with her bedroom reflect the unique tensions between public and private that girls of the period experienced as they navigated the variety of socio-cultural expectations placed upon them.

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