Clever Girls pp 89-113 | Cite as

Too Clever by Half

  • Jackie GoodeEmail author


Foregrounding my mother’s role in my experience of being a ‘Scholarship Girl’, this chapter traces the inter-generational transmission of gender, class and educational achievement in the life of a white woman of the ‘baby-boomer’ generation. There is a noticeable feature common to a number of women writers of my generation: that of the unkind, withholding, even cruel mother who is unloving towards, ‘exploits’ or otherwise tries to ‘thwart’ her daughter. In telling a tale through narrative, poems and diary entries, of a female pilgrim’s progress from growing up in a council flat in the post-war period of the welfare state to an academic career, I paint a more sympathetic picture of my own mother and her travails in attempting to escape a stigmatised self and to achieve the middle-class status which I now self-consciously enjoy.


Shame Respectability Accent Mother-daughter relationships Poetry 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Loughborough UniversityLoughboroughUK

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