Educating Women: Schooling and Identity in England and France, 1800-1867 (Hardback)
  • Educating Women: Schooling and Identity in England and France, 1800-1867 (Hardback)

Educating Women: Schooling and Identity in England and France, 1800-1867 (Hardback)

Hardback 294 Pages / Published: 16/08/2007
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An increasing number of middle class families were taking the education of their daughters seriously in the first part of the nineteenth century, and boarding-schools were multiplying on both sides of the Channel. Schoolmistresses - rarely, in fact, the 'reduced gentlewomen' of nineteenth century fiction - were not only often successful entrepreneurs, but also played an important part they played in the development of the teaching profession, and in the expansion of secondary education. Uncovering their careers and the experiences of their pupils reveals the possibilities and constraints of the lives of middle class women in England and France in the period 1800-1867. Yet those who crossed the Channel in the nineteenth century often commented on the differences they discovered between the experiences of French and English women. Women in France seemed to participate more fully in social and cultural life than their counterparts in England. On the other hand, English girls were felt to enjoy considerably more freedom than young French women. Using the development of schooling for girls as a lens through which to examine the lives of women on either side of the Channel, Educating Women explores such contrasts. It reveals that the differences observed by contemporaries were rooted in the complex interaction of differing conceptions of the role of women with patterns of educational provision, with religion, with the state, and with differing rhythms of economic growth. Illuminating a neglected area of the history of education, it reveals new findings on the history of the professions, on the history of women and on the relationship between gender and national identity in the nineteenth century.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199289981
Number of pages: 294
Weight: 643 g
Dimensions: 240 x 163 x 20 mm

[A] beautifully structured book. * European History Quarterly *
empirical scholarship at its best... De Bellaigue succeeds in calling attention to correcting, extending, and refining modern understanding of nineteenth-century private education by, for, and about women on both sides of the Channel. * Gina Luria Walker, Journal of British Studies *
This ambitious comparative study of the education of middle-class English and French girls before the start of more active intervention by national governments later in the nineteenth century is an important addition to the existing historical literature. * Linda L. Clark, Paedegogica Historica *
Bellaigue's study fills an important gap in our understanding of the development of girls' education in the nineteenth century. Her book is clearly written, well-paced, and provided with useful tables and illustrations. Her comparative approach also proves a valuable way of capturing the essence of boarding-school education in the two countries. * Laurence Brockliss, English Historical Review *

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