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Excellent Women
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Archives > 1. Try to define the “excellent women” of the novel’s title.

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message 1: by John (new)

John Seymour 1. Try to define the “excellent women” of the novel’s title. What are their habits and character traits? How do others view them, and what is their role in society? Consider whether Mildred herself views herself as an excellent woman, both at the beginning and the end of the novel.


Book Wormy | 1822 comments Mod
The Excellent women are normally women who attend church and are involved in the traditional church activities looking after the alter, running the fayres and making tea. They also include women who look after their men and support them in their work.

Mildred knows she is seen by others as an Excellent woman but she herself is not happy with the title, by the end of the novel she has accepted her role.


Kristel (kristelh) | 3832 comments Mod
An excellent woman helps with church activities and helps their neighbors and friends. Spinster women with no life of their own must involve themselves in the lives of others.


message 4: by Pip (new) - rated it 4 stars

Pip | 1308 comments I thought Excellent Women was an ironic quotation from Ruth, in the Old Testament, who was a virtuous woman, who was devoted to her mother-in-law.


message 5: by Pip (new) - rated it 4 stars

Pip | 1308 comments There are many references to excellent women in the novel. They were those women, married or not, who were happy to serve others in the community. Often they were taken for granted. One of the most amusing episodes of how an excellent woman might be taken for granted was when Muriel found herself hemming Allegra's curtains and was invited back to finish her job another day, as if it was something that she really wanted to do! Muriel was contemplating a fulfilled life at the end of the story, as an editor for Everard Bone and a firm friend of the vicar, Julian Malory, to stave off the unwanted attentions of predatory women. She saw this as being a full life. She remained an excellent woman.


message 6: by Jen (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jen | 1608 comments Mod
I agree with Book Worm and the others. Clearly an ironic title


Lynn L | 152 comments Excellent Women are women who do what others expect without complaint. Mildred was accommodating to the extreme, but she saw how others were manipulating her too.


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