Women’s Education in the Early National Period: Seduction Novels, Print Culture, and Advocacy for Separatist Education

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Citation

[Unknown User], “Women’s Education in the Early National Period: Seduction Novels, Print Culture, and Advocacy for Separatist Education ,” Scholar@Simmons, accessed November 14, 2019, https://beatleyweb.simmons.edu/scholar/items/show/349.

Title

Women’s Education in the Early National Period: Seduction Novels, Print Culture, and Advocacy for Separatist Education

Creator

Gauthier, Nicole

Date

2018

Description

My research studies how sentimental novels like Susanna Rowson’s Charlotte Temple influenced women’s education between the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century. Women at that time were regarded as commodities in popular culture and literature, which created a conflicted view of the importance of women’s education. Americans during the Early Republic period believed that women needed to be educated in order to educate their sons, but they thought at the same time that women should not be overly educated, or they would become pedantic and coquettish, traits considered undesirable to men. American and British Sentimental novels like Charlotte Temple, Northanger Abbey, and The Power of Sympathy reflected this duality regarding women’s education. To answer this question, I am consulting archival sources by Susanna Rowson and Caleb Bingham, written in the 1790s and housed in the Massachusetts Historical Society, as well as the novels themselves, and relevant scholarship for context including Linda Kerber’s Women of the Republic (1980).
Did the sentimental novels create the dichotomy of popular sentiment towards women’s education in the Early Republic, or were they merely the result of educational reform?

Subject

Women's History, Women's Education, Literary History

Format

1 PDF (19 Pages)

Language

English

Type

Undergraduate Work

Undergraduate collection

Undergraduate Symposium