Throughout the Victorian period in England, the "perfect lady" was the ideal of femininity, despite the fact that this did not aptly depict the actual lives of most women. Either because they had to work to support themselves or their families, or because they wanted more out of life than domesticity, many women rejected this norm. In this course, we’ll examine how women broke the mold in politics, the arts, medicine, and social reform. As well as famous women such as Queen Victoria, Florence Nightingale, George Eliot, and Annie Besant, we’ll also look at how working women such as governesses and servants achieved a measure of independence, including the women who left England forever to start new lives overseas. | Lecture + Q&A.