Life in 18th and 19th century England was to a large extent governed by the class system. Who you were in this society was determined by your birth and your property, if you were a man that is. For a woman, the social ranking would be determined by her male provider. When married, a woman would inherit the social ranking of her husband; before marriage, the father’s social status dictated the ranking of the daughter. A married woman of the upper class had four responsibilities in life. She was to obey her husband and bear his children. Once the child was born, however, it usually became the responsibility of a wet-nurse or a governess. The parents had little to do with their children on an everyday basis, and the relationship between parents and child was somewhat formal. The married woman was also expected to run the household, a responsibility which included governing the servants and entertaining guests, to provide food and organizing the kitchen staff. The fourth responsibility was to be ladylike. This included dressing appropriately, being able to carry a conversation, singing and playing an instrument, and taking care that the house was decorated according to certain standards. The married woman, then, had her everyday life filled by the duties in the house. The public sphere was for the most part inhabited by men. There were men-only clubs, men were the only ones becoming lawyers, magistrates, explorers and so on. Women belonged to the domestic sphere. They were wives, mothers, housekeepers, maids and governesses. Because the social standing of a woman was decided by the man who had the responsibility for her, it was important for a woman to marry. A woman who failed to marry often became a burden to her family. Her father would have to take responsibility for her, and when the parents passed away, a brother would have to assume the responsibility for his sister. The only other real option for an unmarried woman of the upper or middle class was to go out and get work as a governess or a lady’s companion and thus live life not as part of a family but not really as a servant either.