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In March 1776, when Abigail Adams instructed her husband John, then meeting with the Continental Congress, to "Remember the Ladies," it was a pointed reminder that women had been as patriotic as men when it came to acts like boycotting tea. Yet by the end of the American Revolution, Abigail's plea had one unheeded. Women still gave up their property upon entering a marriage, and they could neither vote nor serve as jurors. The inequality continued into the Victorian age when women continued to be held to traditional roles as housewives and mothers. Often their only relief came at teatime when they met to gossip, a scenario that would be recreated throughout nineteenth-century literature.

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