About women's education
Posted by P. Bingham on January 22, 1998 at 19:48:22:
In response to schooling, written by karen l on January 22, 1998 at 16:40:37
Most girls were educated at home by a governess or, more likely, their mothers. Some were sent away to a girl's boarding school where they were mostly taught how to be a proper wife, mother and be socially acceptable (drawing, dancing & music). A smattering of geography, History & French were thrown in. School was more a place to send girl's when the family wanted them out of the way. Mrs. Goddard's school in Highbury boasted of being a place where "girls might be sent to be out of the way and scramble themselves into a little education, without any danger of coming back prodigies." Oddly enough, those that were taught at home were likely more educated than those that were taught at school.
Jane Austen and her sister Cassandra attended The Abbey Gate School that was kept by a Mrs. Latournelle.
Here is the run-down on the education of Jane Austen's young ladies which gives a good indication of the day:
Elinor & Marianne
Jane didn't mention their education but remember the scene where the proper placement of Africa (I'm almost certain it was Africa) was in question? This is typical. Even men were not so very hot at Geography.
The Bennet girls
They were educated by their mother, although one could assume that Mr. Bennet might have had a hand in Elizabeth's. Lady Catherine was appalled that there had not been a governess asigned to the girls. Elizabeth says "We were always encouraged to read, and had all the masters that were necessary. Those who chose to be idle certainly might," What she meant by masters were men who came to the home to teach the important stuff...dancing drawing & music.
she was educated at home by both her parents. "writing and accounts she was taught by her father; french by her mother." She was all of ten when her education was closed, other than reading and we all know what she enjoyed reading.
they were taught by their governess Miss Lee who taught them how to "put the map of Europe together" and to repeat "the chronology order of the kings of England, with the dates of their accession, and most of the principle events of their reigns." they were also taught "the Roman emperors as low as Severus; besides a great deal of the heathen Mythology, and all the Metal, Semi-metals, Planets, and distinguished philosophers." metals were those ages... the stone age, the bronze age, etc.
was taught French and history by Miss Lee, the Bertram sisters' governess. Edmund is the one that guides her reading and forms her taste in books.
was taught by a governess. Had her mother lived she may very well have been taught by her mother.
she was taught by her mother but, when her mother died, she was sent away to a school in Bath where she was very unhappy.
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