A governess is a girl or woman employed to teach and train children in a private household. In contrast to a nanny (formerly called a nurse) or a babysitter, she concentrates on teaching children, not on meeting their physical needs. Her charges are of school age, not babies.

In the 1960s Gothic soap opera Dark Shadows, the character of Victoria Winters worked as a governess to the wealthy Collins family of Collinsport, Maine. She was charged with tutoring the problematic David Collins. Later in the series, after the character had been written off the show, the role of governess was given to family friend Maggie Evans. By this time, she was mentoring not only David Collins, but his young friend Amy Jennings as well. Another governess featured in the series was Phyllis Wick, a woman who lived in the late 18th century. She was assigned to take care of young Sarah Collins, but an unfortunate and somewhat bizarre mishap led to her untimely demise. In the 1991 Dark Shadows revival series, the role of Victoria Winters was played by actress Joanna Going. Like her 1960s counterpart, Victoria was hired to serve as teacher to the troubled David Collins.

In the "1840 Flashback" storyline, Daphne Harridge was hired to be a governess to young Tad Collins. In this regard, her role and relationship to Tad was similar to that of Victoria Winters to David Collins.

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This article relates to the Dark Shadows franchise.
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