Gardners Life, marriage, taste and fashion: the role of women in the great Power Houses of 17th and 18th century Britain.
Blackwell North Amer For aristocratic women of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the hope must have been that they would fall in love not only with their future husbands but also with their new family's ancestral home. The great houses of the period were visible expressions of wealth, power and prestige. A large, fashionable and beautifully appointed house could aid the owner's climb through the social and political ranks. A main part of the role of a wife was to aid and abet her husband by overseeing the presentational requirements needed to impress: fashion in clothes, carriages, food and entertainment. In practice, some women who on their marriage became mistresses of magnificent houses disliked their marital homes to such an extent that they set out to mould them to their own taste, or even to replace them.