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For the film, see The Governess. Governess_sentence_0

For the obsolete term for a female executive governing official, see Governor. Governess_sentence_1

A governess is a woman employed to teach and train children in a private household. Governess_sentence_2

In contrast to a nanny (formerly called a nurse), she concentrates on teaching children, rather than caring for their physical needs. Governess_sentence_3

Her charges are of school age rather than babies. Governess_sentence_4

The position of governess used to be common in well-off European families before the First World War, especially in the countryside where no suitable school existed nearby. Governess_sentence_5

Parents' preference to educate their children at home—rather than send them away to boarding school for months at a time—varied across time and countries. Governess_sentence_6

Governesses were usually in charge of girls and younger boys. Governess_sentence_7

When a boy was old enough, he left his governess for a tutor or a school. Governess_sentence_8

Governesses are rarer now, except within large and wealthy households or royal families such as the Saudi royal family and in remote regions such as outback Australia. Governess_sentence_9

There has been a recent resurgence amongst families worldwide to employ governesses or full-time tutors. Governess_sentence_10

The reasons for this include personal security, the benefits of a tailored education, and the flexibility to travel or live in multiple locations. Governess_sentence_11

Role Governess_section_0

Traditionally, governesses taught "the three Rs" (reading, writing, and arithmetic) to young children. Governess_sentence_12

They also taught the "accomplishments" expected of middle-class women to the young ladies under their care, such as French or another language, the piano or another musical instrument, and often painting (usually the more ladylike watercolours rather than oils) or poetry. Governess_sentence_13

It was also possible for other teachers (usually male) with specialist knowledge and skills to be brought in, such as, a drawing master or dancing master. Governess_sentence_14

In the United Kingdom Governess_section_1

British governesses outside the United Kingdom Governess_section_2

An option for the more adventurous was to find an appointment abroad. Governess_sentence_15

There is also some allusion to the phenomenon of governesses being engaged abroad in A galaxy of governesses by Bea Howe. Governess_sentence_16

The Russian Empire proved to be a relatively well-paid option for many. Governess_sentence_17

According to Harvey Pitcher in When Miss Emmie was in Russia: English Governesses before, during and after the October Revolution, as many as thousands of English-speaking governesses went there. Governess_sentence_18

As English became the fashionable language of choice among the aristocracy during the later days of the regime, clearly they were displacing opportunities formerly spread more across the French-speaking world. Governess_sentence_19

The estimate of numbers ('thousands'), although necessarily vague, is justified by some knowledge of the main lodging house used by those not accommodated with their host families, St. Governess_sentence_20 Andrew's House, Moscow, and by the places of worship they preferentially frequented, for example the church associated with the House. Governess_sentence_21

Pitcher drew extensively on the archives of the Governesses' Benevolent Institution in London. Governess_sentence_22

Notable governesses Governess_section_3


Fictional Governess_section_4

Novels Governess_section_5

Several well-known works of fiction, particularly in the nineteenth century, have focused on governesses. Governess_sentence_23


In film Governess_section_6


In television Governess_section_7


Other uses Governess_section_8

The term "governess" is an archaic gendered job title for a politician; now the word "governor" is used for men or women. Governess_sentence_24

For example, Keʻelikōlani was known as the governess of Hawaii. Governess_sentence_25

Anne Hegerty, one of the Chasers on the British and Australian versions of The Chase, is nicknamed "The Governess". Governess_sentence_26

See also Governess_section_9


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