HomeThree Wylie Women: A Generation of Late Nineteenth-Century Mothers

Three Wylie Women: A Generation of Late Nineteenth-Century Mothers

The Wylie Women reflect contradictions between the maternal ideal, represented in women’s advice literature, and the complex realities of Midwestern, middle-class childrearing in the late nineteenth-century. The generational study of Elizabeth Louisa Wylie Boisen, Margaret Wylie Mellette, and Sarah Seabrook Mitchell Wylie examines the effect of social and economic factors on mothering experiences, revealing a shared struggle to uphold the expectations of nineteenth-century women. 

In celebration of Mother's Day, the Three Wylie Women exhibit was on display at Wylie House through May, 2018. For the exhibit, each room of the Wylie House featured a particular theme or aspect of the Wylie women's lives as mothers. 

The Wylie House now invites you to explore nineteenth-century mothering through our online exhibition →


Tour a Specific Room of the Exhibit:

Entering the Exhibit: Late Nineteenth-Century Mothering at the Wylie House

The Dining Room: Introducing the Wylie Women

The Kitchen: Maternal Advice Literature and Lived Experience

The Parlor: Separation through Union

The Master Bedroom: Confinement

Upstairs: The Responsibilities and Struggles of Childrearing

The Boys’ Room: Maggie’s Story

The Guest Room: Financial Issues and Widowhood

The Wylie Women, Continued

Notes on Research and Further Reading