Manor House Miss Anson
"We take so much of Women's Lib for granted I think I might have a secret admiration for the aims of the Suffragette cause." Miss Anson
Miss Anson
Miss Anson

Watch the video diaries

Miss Anson's Day

As an unmarried woman, Miss Anson has the lowest status in the family
As an unmarried woman, Miss Anson has the lowest status in the family

Edwardian Life

A Typical Day in the House

How to Treat your Servants

The People: Dr Avril Anson

Avril: On Entering the House

How do you see yourself filling your days?
"I imagine as Anna's sister, my role in the household is to act as a companion to Anna, help her with her correspondence, and the household accounts, and chaperone any visiting young girls. I see myself as a more 'modern' person than Anna and more adventurous.

I love to dance and am looking foward to taking long walks, or bicycle around the countryside with my nephew, Guy. If possible, I will try and learn to drive a pony and trap. I cannot see myself sewing, but perhaps ther might be some ladylike work I could undertake."

What do you think you will enjoy most?
"I find myself thinking of ladies in long dresses playing croquet, of walking through summer woods with my sister - heads together chatting about nothing in particular, of picnics with lots of people by a lazy river, of riding side-saddle. Everywhere is sunshine, light, tranquillity, and peace."

"What must it be like to swap your life so completely for such a different one? As the unmarried sister of the lady of the house, I would expect to be accorded a certain status, but what exactly would that be? What was life like for a relatively privileged woman of the time, and what restrictions were imposed because you were a woman and because you were unmarried?"

"How will it feel to no longer be expected to earn my living, to have servants, and to gain status primarily because my sister had married well, rather than for my own achievments? I am used to being independent, so what will it be like to have the control of my destiny accorded to the head of the family?"

What aspects are you least looking forward to?
"Although I'm not married, I have a partner, so naturally I will miss him"

I value my creature comforts highly and feel the cold - I will certainly miss electric blankets, central heating, showers, the variety of modern food, and the informality of modern eating. I feel a bit alarmed at the idea of being constantly on show to the staff. The lack of privacy will take some getting used to."


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