In the early nineteenth century, educationalists, whether evangelical, rationalist or romantic, in their approach were united in stressing certain common themes which would prove to be of great significance for women’s education. In England, France and the United States, speculation about child development, drawing on the diverse inheritances of Locke and Rousseau, and on the work of such contemporary writers as Pestalozzi, emphasised the role of family and parents, and especially mothers, in imprinting good and moral lessons upon the child in infancy, in drawing out what was best in the child’s nature. So ‘maternal education’, or the task of the mother as educator and as socialiser became the focus for much important work. In particular, mothers were required to turn their attention to the next generation of educators, their daughters. Such a theme clearly formed one part of that enhancement of the domestic sphere which was such a feature of the early nineteenth century. Some women, and some men, interested in the quality of women’s education, were to carry the argument further: was women’s education to be undertaken only in the interest of later generations, or were those generations better served by first concentrating on women themselves? What could women achieve, through self-culture and self-improvement?


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes and References

  1. 1.
    Maria Edgeworth, Letters for Literary Ladies: to which is added, an essay on the noble science of self-justification (London, 1795), pp. 45ff.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    M. Butler, Jane Austen and the War of Ideas (Oxford, 1975), p. 131.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Maria Edgeworth and Richard Lovell Edgeworth, Practical Education, 2 vols (1798; reprinted London and New York, 1974), ed. G. Luria.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    M. A. Stodart, Female writers: thoughts on their proper sphere, and on their powers of usefulness (London, 1842 ), p. 146.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Mrs E. O. Benger, Memoirs of the late Mrs Elizabeth Hamilton, with a selection from her correspondence, and other unpublished writings, 2 vols (London, 1818 ).Google Scholar
  6. Dugald Stewart recur throughout her major work, Letters on the elementary principles of education, 3rd edn, 2 vols (London, 1803).Google Scholar
  7. 8.
    See V. Colby, Yesterday’s Woman. Domestic Realism in the English Novel (Princeton, New Jersey, 1974), Ch. 3.Google Scholar
  8. 9.
    Hannah More, Strictures on Female Education, in The Works of Hannah More, 18 vols ( London, 1818 ), Vol. VIII, Ch. xiv.Google Scholar
  9. Eleanor L. Sewell (ed.) The Autobiography of Elizabeth M. Sewell (London, 1907).Google Scholar
  10. Charlotte Elizabeth, Personal Recollections (London, 1841).Google Scholar
  11. 12.
    Lawrence Stone, The Family, Sex and Marriage in England, 1500–1800 (London, 1977), pp. 666–7.Google Scholar
  12. Sarah Lewis, Woman’s Mission, 2nd edn ( London, 1839 ), Chs 6–7.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Grace Aguilar, Home Influence: a tale for mothers and daughters 2 vols (London, 1847), p. viGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Anna Elizabeth Pendered, Remarks on Female Education, with an application of its principles to the regulation of schools (London, 1827)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Sydney Smith, ‘Female Education’, Edinburgh Review, xv (January 1810), 299–315.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    (Richard Wright) ‘Letters on Women’, The Universalist’s Miscellany; or Philanthropist’s Museum. Intended chiefly as an antidote against the antichristian doctrine of endless misery. Vol. III (1799), Letter I, and Vol. iv, Letter v, pp. 109–12, especially.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Francis E. Mineka, The Dissidence of Dissent. The Monthly Repository, 1806–1838 ( Chapel Hill, N. Carolina, 1944 ), p. 158.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    (Harriet Martineau), ‘Discipulus’, ‘On Female Education’, MR, XVIII (February 1823), 77–81.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    W. B. Adams, ‘On the condition of women in England’, MR, vii (1833), 217–31Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Mary Leman Grimstone, ‘Sketches of Domestic Life. No. vn The Insipid’, MR, second series, ix (1835), 645–53.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Anon., ‘Infant Education’, MR, second series, x (1836), 141–9.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Harriet Martineau, Household Education (London, 1849), pp. 240–5.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Margaret Mylne, ‘Woman and her social position’, Westminster Review, xxxv (January 1841), 28.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Grimstone, ‘Female Education’, NMW, I, No. 17 (21 February 1835 ).Google Scholar
  25. 26.
    Anon., ‘Walk of Ellen and mother in garden’, NMW, n, No. 75 (2 April 1836 ).Google Scholar
  26. ‘Kate’ (Catherine Watkins), ‘The Love of Knowledge’, NMW, tv, No. 171 (3 February 1838 ).Google Scholar
  27. 28.
    J. G. Barmby, ‘Journal of a social mission to France’, NMW, VIII, No. 4 (25 July 1840 ).Google Scholar
  28. 32.
    Anne L. Kuhn, The Mother’s Role in Childhood Education: New England Concepts, 1830–60 (New Haven, 1947), p. 21Google Scholar
  29. Bernard Wishy, The Child and the Republic. The Dawn of Modern American Child Nurture (Philadelphia,1972 edn), especially Part I.Google Scholar
  30. 33.
    N. Cott, The Bonds of Womanhood. ‘Woman’s Sphere’ in New England, 1780–1835 (New Haven, 1977), pp. 118.Google Scholar
  31. 34.
    Thomas Woody,.AHistory of Women’s-Education in the United States, 2 vols (1929; reprinted New York, 1974), Vol. I, p. 305.Google Scholar
  32. 36.
    Almira H. Phelps, ‘Remarks on the education of girls’, Godey’s Lady’s Book, Vol. 18 (June 1839), p. 253Google Scholar
  33. 38.
    Lydia Maria Child, The Mother’s Book (Boston, 1831), pp. 4–5.Google Scholar
  34. 39.
    Katherine Kish Sklar, Catherine Beecher. A Study in American Domesticity (New York, 1976 edn), pp. 75–6, 90–1.Google Scholar
  35. 42.
    Barbara Corrado Pope, ‘Maternal education in France, 1815–48’, Proceedings of theThird Annual Meeting of the Western Society for French History, 4–6 December 1975 (Texas, 1976 )Google Scholar
  36. Margaret H. Darrow, ‘French noblewomen and the new domesticity, 1750–1850’, Feminist Studies, 5 (Spring 1979), 41–65.Google Scholar
  37. P. Rousselot, Histoire de l’éducation des femmes en France, 2 vols (Paris, 1883), Vol. II, pp.:374 ff..Google Scholar
  38. H. C. Barnard, The French Tradition in Education. Ramus to Mme Necker de Sous sure (1922);reprinted Cambridge, 1970).Google Scholar
  39. D. Johnson, Guizot. Aspects of Political Philosophy, 1787–1874 (London, 1963), Chs. 2 and 3.Google Scholar
  40. S. E. Grave, The Scottish Philosophy of Common Sense (Oxford, 1960 ).Google Scholar
  41. 43.
    Pauline Guizot, Lettres de famille sur l’éducation (Paris, 1861 edn), Vol. I, pp. 341–50, Vol. II, pp. 1–12ff.Google Scholar
  42. 47.
    Louis Aimé-Martin, The Education of Mothers of Families; or, the civilisation of the human race by women…, trans. Edwin Lee (London, 1842).Google Scholar
  43. 48.
    Louis Aimé-Martin, Education des mères de famille ou de la civilisation du genre humain par les femmes, fourth edn (Paris, 1843), Ch. xiv, pp. 102ff, and Ch. XxnGoogle Scholar
  44. 49.
    E. Sullerot, Histoire de la Presse féminine en France des origines à 1848 (Paris, 1966), pp. 187–9.Google Scholar
  45. 52.
    M. Wollstonecraft, Vindication of the Rights of Women (1791; Harmondsworth, 1982), pp. 261–93.Google Scholar
  46. 53.
    Priscilla Wakefield, Reflections on the Present Condition of the Female Sex; with suggestions for its improvement (London, 1798), pp. 49–53.Google Scholar
  47. 55.
    Ronald W. Hogeland, ‘Coeducation of the sexes at Oberlin College: a study of social ideas in mid-nineteenth century America’, Journal of Social History, 6 (1972–3), 160–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 58.
    Lawrence Cremin, American Education. The National Experience, 1783–1876 (New York, 1980), pp. 144–7.Google Scholar
  49. Maris A. Vinovskis and Richard M. Bernard, ‘Beyond Catherine Beecher: female education in the antebellum period’, Signs, 3 (1978), 856–69CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. 59.
    J. Kamm, Hope Deferred. Girls’ Education in English History (London, 1965), pp. 136ff.Google Scholar
  51. Carol Dyhouse, Girls Growing up in Late Victorian and Edwardian England (London, 1981), pp. 40–50.Google Scholar
  52. Joyce Pedersen, ‘Schoolmistresses and headmistresses: elites and education in 19th century education’, Journal of British Studies, xv (1975), 136–62.Google Scholar
  53. 60.
    Anon., ‘On Female Education and Occupations’, MR, VII (1833), 489–91.Google Scholar
  54. 61.
    Grimstone, ‘Female Education’, MR, second series, ix (1835), 106–12Google Scholar
  55. J. Killham, Tennyson and the Princess. Reflections of an Age (London, 1958 ), p. 51.Google Scholar
  56. 63.
    Anna Jameson, Characteristics of Women, Moral, Political and Historical (London, 1875; first published 1832), p. 37Google Scholar
  57. 64.
    R. Mudie, The Complete Governess. A course of mental instructions for ladies; with a notice of the principal female accomplishments (London, 1826 ), pp. 1–15.Google Scholar
  58. 65.
    Mrs Hugo Reid, A Plea for Woman: being a vindication of the importance and extent of her natural sphere of action (Edinburgh, 1843), p. 8.Google Scholar
  59. Anne Richelieu Lamb, Can Woman Regenerate Society? (London, 1844), p. 18Google Scholar
  60. 66.
    Elaine Kaye, A History of Queen’s College London, 1848–1972 (London, 1972).Google Scholar
  61. 67.
    Asher Tropp, The School Teachers. The growth of the teaching profession in England from 1800 to the present day ( London, 1957 ), Ch. IIGoogle Scholar
  62. Phillip McCann and Francis A. Young, Samuel Wilderspin and the Education of the Poor (London, 1982), pp. 171ff.Google Scholar
  63. 68.
    Frances Widdowson, Going up into the nest class. Women and elementary teacher training, 1840–1914 (London, 1980), Sections I-II. Tropp, School Teachers pp. 22–4.Google Scholar
  64. 69.
    Lady Ellis, ‘The education of young ladies of small pecuniary resources for other occupations than that of teaching’, Central Society of Education, Second Publication, Papers… (London, 1838; reprinted Woburn Press, 1968 ). pp. 193–4.Google Scholar
  65. 70.
    Harriet Martineaù, ‘Female Industry’, Edinburgh Review, CIX (April 1859), 331.Google Scholar
  66. 71.
    John Duguid Milne, The Industrial and Social Position of Women in the Middle and Lower Ranks (London, 1857).Google Scholar
  67. 72.
    Anna Blackwell, ‘Elizabeth Blackwell’, EWJ, I (April 1858), 80–100Google Scholar
  68. Elizabeth and Emily Blackwell, ‘Medicine as a profession for women’, EWJ, V (May 1860), 145–60.Google Scholar
  69. Jo Manton, Elizabeth Garret Anderson (New York, 1965).Google Scholar
  70. 73.
    Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon, ‘Middle Class Schools for Girls’, EWJ, vi (November 1860), 168–77.Google Scholar
  71. Emily Davies, ‘Letters addressed to a daily paper at Newcastle upon Tyne, 1860’, in Thoughts on some Questions relating to Women (Cambridge, 1910 ).Google Scholar
  72. 74.
    Francoise Mayeur, L’Education des filles en France au XIA’e siècle (Paris, 1979).Google Scholar
  73. P. Rousselot, Histoire de l’éducation des femmes en France, 2 vols (Paris, 1883 ), Vol. II, pp. 360–444.Google Scholar
  74. R. D. Anderson, Education in France, 1848–70 (Oxford, 1970 ).Google Scholar
  75. Edmée Charrier, L’évolution intellectuelle féminine. Le développement intellectuel de la femme. La femme dans le, profecdon., intellectuelles (Paris, 1937), Ch. II, Part 3.Google Scholar
  76. 79.
    James F. McMillan, Housewife or Harlot. The Place of Women in French Society, 1870–1940 (Brighton, 1981 ), p. 12Google Scholar
  77. 80.
    T. W. Laqueur, ‘Literacy and social mobility in the Industrial Revolution in England’, Past and Present, 64 (August 1974), 96–107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. M. Sanderson, Education, Economic Change, and Society in England, 1780–1870 (London, 1983 ).Google Scholar
  79. 81.
    G. R. Porter, The Progress of the Nation…, 3 vols (London, 1843), Section V, pp. 278–81.Google Scholar
  80. 82.
    T. W. Laqueur, Religion and Respectability. Sunday Schools and Working Class Culture, 1780–1850, (New Haven, 1976), Chs. 1–2.Google Scholar
  81. 85.
    Phillip McCann, ‘Popular education, socialization and social control: Spitalfields, 1812–24’, in Phillip McCann (ed.), Popular Education and Socialization in the Nineteenth Century (London, 1977 ), p. 23.Google Scholar
  82. 86.
    Pamela Silver and Harold Silver, The Education of the Poor. The history of a National school, 1824–1974 (London, 1974), pp. 48–9.Google Scholar
  83. 88.
    Beryl Madoc Jones, ‘Patterns of attendance and their social significance: Mitcham National School, 1830–39’, in McCann (ed.), Popular Education and Socialization.Google Scholar
  84. 90.
    M. Sturt, The Education of the People. A history of primary education in England and Wales in the nineteenth century (London, 1967 ), p. 117.Google Scholar
  85. 91.
    J. M. Goldstrom, The Social Content of Education, 1808–70. A Study of the Working Class School Reader in England and Ireland (Shannon, 1972 ), p. 127n.Google Scholar
  86. 93.
    Caroline E. Martin, ‘Female Chartism: a study in politics’, MA Thesis, University of Wales (1973), p. 47.Google Scholar
  87. 95.
    B. Taylor, Eve and the New Jerusalem. Socialism and Feminism in the Nineteenth Century (London, 1983 ), p. 234.Google Scholar
  88. 96.
    Fanny Hertz, ‘Mechanics Institutes for Working Women, with special reference to the manufàcturing districts of Yorkshire’, Transactions of the National Association for the Promotion of Social Science (1859), pp. 347–54.Google Scholar
  89. 97.
    Carolyn Steedman, The Tidy House, Little Girls Writing (London,1982), pp. 117–31.Google Scholar
  90. 99.
    Carl F. Kaestle and Maris A. Vinovskis, Education and Social Change in Nineteenth Century Massachusetts (Cambridge, 1980 ), pp. 25–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  91. 100.
    Thomas W. Dublin, Women at Work. The Transformation of Work and Community in Lowell, Massachusetts, 1826–1860 (New York, 1979 ), pp. 178–80.Google Scholar
  92. 101.
    Julie Roy,Jeffrey, Frontier Women. The Trans-Mississippi West 1840–1880 (New York, 1979), pp. 87–94.Google Scholar
  93. 102.
    Vinovskis and Bernard, ‘Beyond Catherine Beecher’, Signs (1978), pp. 862–3.Google Scholar
  94. 103.
    Gerda Lerner, ‘Black and White Women in Interaction and Confrontation’, in The Majority Finds its Past. Placing Women in History (New York, 1979 ).Google Scholar
  95. Angela Davis, Women, Race, and Class (London, 1981), Chs. 1–2Google Scholar
  96. Suzanne Lebsock, ‘Feer Black Women and the Question of Matriarchy: Petersburg, Virginia, 1784–1820’, Feminist Studies, 8 (Summer 1982 ), 271–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  97. I. Berlin, Slaves without Masters. The Free Negro in the Antebellum South (New York, 1974), pp. 74–8,173–4,303–6.Google Scholar
  98. 105.
    James R. Lehning, The Peasants of Marlhes. Economic Development and Family Organisation in Nineteenth Century France (N. Carolina, 1980 ), pp. 154–9.Google Scholar
  99. E. Weber, Peasants into Frenchmen. The Modernization of Rural France, 1870–1914 (London, 1977 ), p. 321.Google Scholar
  100. 106.
    P. Pierrard, La vie ouvrière à Lille. sous le Second Empire (Paris, 1965), pp. 313–37.Google Scholar
  101. G. Duveau, La nie ouvrière en France sous le Second Empire (Paris, 1946), pp. 449f f.Google Scholar
  102. 107.
    Parkes, ‘The Profession of the Teacher’, EWJ, I (March 1858 ), 1–13Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Jane Rendall 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jane Rendall

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations