I recently watched the series "Regency House Party" from the BBC - a time traveling reality TV show that placed several young, single men and women (along with chaperones) back in the courtship rituals of the Regency Era of the early 1800s. The modern participants had to follow appropriate social restrictions and fully engaged in the lifestyle of the time- complete with maids, corsets, chamber pots, and needlework. It was a really interesting series - especially fascinating to see how some of them chafed at the confines of social practices at the time.
At the end of the series several pairings emerged, however, Haley Conick, who remained somewhat detached from the suitors throughout, expressed her lack of interest in a Regency-Era marraige. Check out this video, starting at the 2 minute mark.
How frustrating it must have been for women who desired independence at that time! I feel so sad for the women of that time (and women in various parts of the world today) who do not have the luxury of being independent. Funny how some people think it is a "curse" to be single and 30+, when that was a situation many must have pined for back in those days. To think that being a courtesan was basically the only way to have control over your life - wow!!!!