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Grateful Letter of a Daughter to Her Parents (1908)

Grateful Letter of a Daughter to Her Parents (1908)

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Published by jwr47
Last year I found the following letter in my mother's attic. Dated 1st of January 1908 the letter had been a grateful new-year's wishing gift in calligraphic writing of my mother's aunt Mary to her parents. The language is a somewhat antiquated Dutch, but written without any error and containing only one minor insertion.
At the 1st of January 1908 aunt Mary had been educated in a study to become a governess in the cities of Leiden and The Hague.

My mother remembered her as her father's sister. Around 1930 she regularly visited her family with her two pupils, young sisters of the upper class employers. At these visits the governess also expected her family's adults and children to behave at their very best.

My mother described the impact of a governess with two well educated upper class girls in her family's living room, in which each child and each adult had been instructed to behave the very best way they could. At the announcement of the governess' visit the youngest of the five sons and five daughters received their instructions from the more experienced elder ones.

As a governess aunt Mary must have had at least two employers in different location, Leiden and The Hague. From my mothers' tales I learned the equivalence of my aunt Mary's and the Brontë-sisters' education. The frequency of job hopping may be related to the well documented experiences of the Brontë-sisters.
In reading Jane Eyre I recognized the early educational methods of educating girls to choose for marriage respectively a religious sister or a choice between the professions of school mistress or governess. Of the Brontë-sisters only Emily never became a governess. Not staying long with each family, their employment would last for some months or a single season. However, Anne did stay with the Robinsons in Thorp Green where things went well, from May 1840 to June 1845.
Last year I found the following letter in my mother's attic. Dated 1st of January 1908 the letter had been a grateful new-year's wishing gift in calligraphic writing of my mother's aunt Mary to her parents. The language is a somewhat antiquated Dutch, but written without any error and containing only one minor insertion.
At the 1st of January 1908 aunt Mary had been educated in a study to become a governess in the cities of Leiden and The Hague.

My mother remembered her as her father's sister. Around 1930 she regularly visited her family with her two pupils, young sisters of the upper class employers. At these visits the governess also expected her family's adults and children to behave at their very best.

My mother described the impact of a governess with two well educated upper class girls in her family's living room, in which each child and each adult had been instructed to behave the very best way they could. At the announcement of the governess' visit the youngest of the five sons and five daughters received their instructions from the more experienced elder ones.

As a governess aunt Mary must have had at least two employers in different location, Leiden and The Hague. From my mothers' tales I learned the equivalence of my aunt Mary's and the Brontë-sisters' education. The frequency of job hopping may be related to the well documented experiences of the Brontë-sisters.
In reading Jane Eyre I recognized the early educational methods of educating girls to choose for marriage respectively a religious sister or a choice between the professions of school mistress or governess. Of the Brontë-sisters only Emily never became a governess. Not staying long with each family, their employment would last for some months or a single season. However, Anne did stay with the Robinsons in Thorp Green where things went well, from May 1840 to June 1845.

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Published by: jwr47 on Apr 26, 2014
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04/26/2014

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Grateful Letter of a Daughter to her Parents (1908)
Last year I found the following letter in my mother's attic. Dated 1
st
 of January 190 the letter had  !een a grateful new"year's wishing gift in calligra#hic writing of my mother's aunt $ary to her  #arents. %he language is a somewhat anti&uated Dutch !ut written without any error and containing only one minor insertion.(t the 1
st
 of January 190 aunt $ary had !een educated in a study to !ecome a go)erness in the cities of Leiden and %he *ague. $y mother remem!ered her as her father's sister. (round 19+0 she regularly )isited her family with her two #u#ils young sisters of the u##er class em#loyers. (t these )isits the go)erness also e,#ected her family's adults and children to !eha)e at their )ery !est. $y mother descri!ed the im#act of a go)erness with two well educated u##er class girls in her family's li)ing room in which each child and each adult had !een instructed to !eha)e the )ery !est way they could. (t the announcement of the go)erness' )isit the youngest of the fi)e sons and fi)e daughters recei)ed their instructions from the more e,#erienced elder ones. %he im#act of my aunt $ary's influence on my mother's education may !e estimated from the e,tremely long storage time of more than a century for this letter.(s a go)erness aunt $ary must ha)e had at least two em#loyers in different location Leiden and %he *ague. -rom my mothers' tales I learned the e&ui)alence of my aunt $ary's and the ront/"sisters' education. %he fre&uency of jo! ho##ing may !e related to the well documented e,#eriences of the ront/"sisters.In reading Jane yre
1
 I recognied the early educational methods of educating girls to choose for marriage res#ecti)ely a religious sister or a choice !etween the #rofessions of school mistress or go)erness. 2f the ront/"sisters only mily ne)er !ecame a go)erness. 3ot staying long with each familytheir em#loyment would last for some months or a single season. *owe)er (nne did stay with the o!insons in %hor# 5reen where things went well from $ay 140 to June 146In contrast 8harlotte had teaching #ositions at $iss $argaret ooler's school and in russels with the *egers. :he !ecame go)erness to the :idgwic;s the :tonega##es and the Lotherdales where she wor;ed for se)eral months in 1+9then with $rs hite at <##erhouse *ouse awdon from $arch to :e#tem!er 141. (nne !ecame a go)erness and wor;ed for $rs Ingham at la;e *all $irfield from (#ril to Decem!er 1+9 then for $rs o!inson at %hor# 5reen *all Little 2use!urn near =or; <nfortunately my mother's information is not really a!undant and all alternati)e sources #ro)ed to  !e unfruitful.
 
Translation of Aunt Mary's letter from Dutch to English
A vousde coeurRoermond, 1
st
 of January 1908.
Beloved Parents! Once again a new year's first day arrived. Filled with happiness I feel glad to give You a tiny proof of my appreciation and gratitude! “appy ew Year" dear Father and #other$" I cordially call out to You. %hat the year &()" which starts today" may *e a *lessing year to You and may *e followed *y many years with the same wishes for You! +et the good +ord *e pleased to preserve Your precious life for many years! ,nd certainly at a day li-e this You also are epecting me to ma-e a minute promise to You. aving grieved You the past year *y un/ust *ehaviour I will earnestly try to improve my demeanour. ,t school I will do my very *est. I will diligently learn my lessons in order to earn Your and my teachers' satisfaction.Beloved Father and #other" these are the inmost wishes and good promises from Your loving daughter #aria 
 
Aunt Maria as a Governess and her Letter to her Parents
 Fig. 1: Aunt Mary (as a governess)

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