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By Roxane Gay

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When Tye wished to enter public life and her genteel woodcarving classes turned into a programme for radical social action, Arthur’s angel of the house fell from grace. 109 Arthur believed that he had the moral authority to guide his wife, children and servants towards a virtuous life. He believed that a ‘woman’s sphere was in the home’ and there would be no ‘career for them’. 110 The fact that Arthur was not interested in women’s rights had implications for Tye’s work. 111 This can be applied to Tye’s predicament.

110 The fact that Arthur was not interested in women’s rights had implications for Tye’s work. 111 This can be applied to Tye’s predicament. 114 In 1884, it was announced that Mrs Arthur Jebb had retired from public life; the official reason given was broken health. 115 Her diary of the time suggests that there was nothing the Lady Bountiful and Country Squire 31 matter with her health. She was 37 years old, and although nothing is known about her medical or reproductive history, she had always been energetic and in good health.

Like most conservative Victorians, he believed that voluntary charity was the best way of helping the poor. His solution to social welfare problems embodied the views expressed by Samuel Smiles in Self-Help (1859). Smiles emphasized the spirit of individual hard work, discipline and deferred gratification. In principle, the idea was that whatever is done for individual men or entire classes of people would remove the stimulus for and necessity of doing it for themselves. 45 Arthur endorsed Smiles’ doctrine of self-help wholeheartedly.

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