angel in the house

angel in the house

A housewife who is pure, subservient, and devoted to her husband and family. A reference to a narrative poem called The Angel in the House by Coventry Patmore. The phrase is now typically used to question or decry this concept as a model of femininity. Though we've made great strides in the past half-decade toward full equality for women, there is still this lingering notion that a married woman, especially a mother, should be the angel in the house.
See also: angel, house

the angel in the house

a woman who is completely devoted to her husband and family.
This was the title of a collection of poems on married love by Coventry Patmore ( 1823–96 ), and it is now mainly used ironically.
See also: angel, house
References in periodicals archive ?
For in addition to the Rapunzel effect of the exhibition, Jackson's spooky visage emblematizes the "feminine" idiosyncracy of Cameron's photography: the house-and-family confines of her work, its commitment to the marriage-and-motherhood experience of Victorian women, its family-tree connection to the heritage of feminism, its dialectical position between "the angel in the house" and "a room of one's own." Including Cameron's patriarchs would only have brought the law of the father back into this photographic gynarchy.