France was wonderful – now sampling England! We had dinner with some friends in London tonight. I was discussing my new book with my friend Patricia, chatting about the differences between men’s and women’s courage, and she brought up some very interesting, and very British, stories.
She remarked how difficult it must have been to be a women during the Elizabethan and Victorian eras. Women were given all the responsibility and none of the authority,. Her grandmother, for example, was left by her husband, who took everything they had. Her grandmother had to support herself and her three children, but had no skills, and therefore had to take the jobs men didn’t want with long hours. Not a good situation with children, so she was forced to send her children off to live with relatives. She subsidized their upbringing, but the children came to view the relatives more as mother than their real mother.
Patricia’s grandmother eventually remarried and had other children. Amazingly, the two families didn’t even know the other existed, until Patricia’s aunt did some research and found them. What she found broke her heart – the first group of children harbored great ill will against their mother for “abandoning” them. They apparently never considered the courage their mother had to make the decisions she did. It’s the “different kind of courage” and the quiet courage that frequently goes unnoticed.