Female Education and the Emergence of the “Middling Classes”

  • Margaret A. Nash


The popular novelist Maria Budden wrote in her 1826 Thoughts on Domestic Education that she was glad that fewer families insisted on teaching their daughters to play musical instruments. The “daughters of shopkeepers, and farmers, and poor gentry,” Budden thought, needed more practical education than that.1 The accuracy of Budden’s comments was reflected in the growth in the number of educational institutions in the antebellum era, the curricula of these institutions, and the reality that the majority of these institutions drew people from the “middling classes.”2


Middling Class Moral Education Female Teacher Female Education Young Lady 
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© Margaret A. Nash 2005

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  • Margaret A. Nash

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