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What does the expression angel of the house mean?

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March 04, 2011 5:12AM

It was a phrase used to describe the "perfect Victorian woman". It was used back in the 19th century. The "Angel of the House" was a women who was to be devote and submissive to her husband. She was supposed to be passive and powerless, meek, charming, graceful, sympathetic, self-sacrificing, pious, and above all--pure.

The phrase originally came from a poem written in 1854 by a man named Patmore, who thought his wife was perfect and all wives should be like her.