Saturday, June 16, 2007

The Brontës and Education

Cambridge University Press publishes this month a new book by Marianne Thormählen (the author of The Brontës and Religion), The Brontës and Education:

The Brontës and Education
Marianne Thormählen
Lunds Universitet, Sweden
(ISBN-13: 9780521832892)
* Publication is planned for June 2007

All the seven Brontë novels are concerned with education in both senses, that of upbringing as well as that of learning. The Brontë sisters all worked as teachers before they became published novelists. In spite of the prevalence of education in the sisters' lives and fiction, however, this is the first full-length book on the subject. Marianne Thormählen explores how their representations of fictional teachers and schools engage with the intense debates on education in the nineteenth century, drawing on a wealth of documentary evidence about educational theory and practice in the lifetime of the Brontës. This study offers much new information both about the Brontës and their books and about the most urgent issue in early-nineteenth-century British social politics: the education of the people, of all classes and both sexes.

• A new and important contextual reading of the famous Brontë novels
• Thoroughly researched and documented, providing invaluable data about Victorian education
• A lively and accessible work of criticism

Contents

Introduction; Part I. Education and Society: 1. The education of the people; 2. The improvement of the mind; Part II. Home and School: 3. Household education versus school training; 4. Parents and children; 5. Professional educators in the home; 6. Schools and schooling; Part III. Subjects and Skills: 7. A sound English education; 8. Religion and education; 9. The accomplishments; 10. Male and female education; 11. Beyond the schoolroom: reading and the Brontës; Part IV. Strategies and Methods: 12. Pedagogical purposes and principles; 13. Schoolroom practices; Part V. Originality and Freedom: 14. Docility and originality; 15. Liberty and responsibility; Select bibliography; Index.
You can read an excerpt here.

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