'The Maiden's Chamber'

A print depicting a young woman in her bower (mid-19th century) A print depicting a young woman in her bower (mid-19th century) © The Trustees of the British Museum, acc. no. 1865,1014.587.

'The Maiden's Chamber' is an English book illustration from 1840 depicting a young lady’s room. The print shows a young woman at her desk with a book in her hand. The print (a steel engraving) is based on an image by the English painter Alfred Edward Chalon (1780-1860) and was made by the artist and engraver, John Jewell Penstone (1817-1902).

Under the image is the verse: “Here gay and placid speed the hours, among her music, books and flowers.” The print is about the feminine skills needed for a Young Lady. The verse is actually a quotation from The Belle of a Season, by the Irish novelist, Margaret Gardiner Countess of Blessington (1789-1849). The print is shown opposite p. 62 of the 1840 edition.

The print includes in the bottom right hand corner a round embroidery loop on a stand. The embroidery would appear to be a floral pattern. Other feminine attributes in the image include flowers, music (harp), painting (image on an easel), religion (Bible), as well as her very feminine clothing.

British Museum online catalogue (retrieved 7th June 2017).


Last modified on Sunday, 30 April 2017 13:13