The woman’s role during World War I was almost as important as the men who were fighting in the war. While their husbands were off at battle, the women were taking care of things on the home front. Many women went to work in order to support their families.
In Gaudy Night, we see the result of this WWI working woman. The women in the novel are asserting their independence, especially Harriet. She does not want to give up her successful career to become a wife to Peter. She has gotten used to relying on herself and may feel a sense of pride in that. Giving up her independence would seem like a loss for her, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be. Peter does not seem like the type of guy who would force Harriet to stay at home and be a housewife. I think he would be very supportive of her continuing to have a successful career as his wife.