In one particular manual written in 1874, it stated, "A young woman cannot be considered in any sense prepared for this union under 21; 25 is better." However, at the same time, statistically, women who didn't marry early in life, might not be able to marry at all.
A book published in the 1870's called "A True Friend", wrote that after analyzing marriages in Massachusetts, it was concluded that "an unmarried female at the age of 20 has lost one-fourth of her chances of ever becoming united in wedlock; at 25, three-fourths, and at 30, nine-tenths." But, even then, the book goes on to emphasize that even though a woman's chances of marrying decreases dramatically after the age of 20, and basically were non-existent after 30, that she should not go out and marry the first man who was willing.
We’ll first observe some of the mechanics and rules, of which there were many, of courtship.
First and foremost, on the woman’s side, she must have completed her education before officially “coming out” onto the marriage market, at which point in time she would most likely be seventeen or eighteen.
Even though the actual presentation only lasted a few moments for each girl, the planning would start months, if not years, prior.
Once a young woman had come out socially as a debutante, she could then attend parties and social gatherings.
Victorian Romance and relationships required much more etiquette than dating of today, however, some things about being single haven't changed much in the past century.
Many of our modern marriage traditions, including wedding dresses and honeymoons, have their roots in the Victorian era.
Today’s internet dating even has predecessors in Victorian personal ads in newspapers, matrimonial agencies, and courtship correspondence groups. Jennifer Phegley, co-chair of the UMKC Department of English, delves into these issues in her book . Free parking is available at the Library District Parking Garage at 10th and Baltimore.
She was never allowed to go anywhere alone with a man without her mother's permission.
She could never be out with a gentleman late at night, just as it was considered extremely impolite for a gentleman to stay late at a woman's home, even though they were never alone together.