In this book, Christina de Bellaigue uses schooling for girls as a lens through which to examine the lives of women on either side of the Channel. She looks at boarding-schools for girls in nineteenth-century England, exploring the emergence and expansion of private schooling for girls, the recruitment and training of schoolmistresses; the strategies involved in establishing a school and claiming professional standing; the lives of schoolgirls, and the instruction they received; and the experiences of pupils and teachers who crossed the Channel. In the process, Educating Women illuminates unexplored areas of the history of women and of education, and uncovers new findings on the history of the professions and the relationship between gender and national identity in the nineteenth century.

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