This chapter briefly summarizes the debate on separate spheres by relating the concept to the lives of the Clapham sect. It is argued that though the men lived public lives, they spent their private time in the company of their wives and children rather than in the masculine world of clubs. The chapter shows that Barbara Wilberforce, Selina Macaulay, and Marianne (Sykes) Thornton (Mrs Henry Thornton) did not become close friends and had different views on wifely responsibilities, with Marianne Thornton the most actively engaged in her husband’s public career. The passing of the abolition act in 1807 and Wilberforce’s Yorkshire election campaign of that year are discussed mainly from her point of view. The chapter ends with a discussion of the childbearing histories of the three women.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.