La EducaciÓn De La Mujer En El Siglo XVIII En EspaÑa E Inglaterra

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This aim of this book is to offer a general panorama of female education in the 18th century in England and Spain. The study is approached from a Bakhtinian perspective – based on the analysis of the different voices present in the Enlightened discourse (the hegemonic and monological patriarchal voice which tries to impose his ideology on the voices of the “others”, in this case, “women”). Thus, a constrastive insight into the reality of the learned women in England and Spain in the Age of Enlightenment is the starting point which leads to the close study of the types of education that women received at the time in those two European countries: at home, in the household of some noble family, in petty schools, in boarding schools and in convents. Once the proliferation of learned ladies has been established, what follows is an analysis of the treatment that the education of women received in the printed press of the time. Then, the focus of study shifts to the literary production of 18th century erudite ladies in both countries, ranging from prose to poetry, essays and drama and, finally, attention is paid to the influence these learned women had on future generations of erudite ladies.


“Throughout the 18th century, as the authors show in the pages of this book, the education of woman did not only – nor basically – lie in the achievement of a widely demanded right, but in a slow process of transformation of society which resulted in the establishment of areas of new and solid freedoms, of an area of thought and action of their own from which they could illegitimize the authority and hierarchy imposed by an eminently masculine society and, at the same time, legitimize a discourse of their own which reinvents the role played by home and family in education, as well as that of religion and its institutions. This new meeting place, this new role of women in society, favored by education, goes through different stages and makes use of mechanisms of diverse nature: new conceptions of school – lay as well as religious–, promenades, coffee–houses and saloons, the press, being their access to literature from their role as authoresses one of the most outstanding ones. It allowed, without a shadow of a doubt, the modulation of a voice of their own and favored an area for analysis and reflection, but also for the action leading to higher numbers of public participation and, by extension, to a fairer society.

The achievement of social goals always results from a large history of personal and collective efforts. The gradual placing of women in 18th -century education in Spain and England is an achievement of obvious importance despite the more-or-less-covert reluctance and the evident rejections that had to be overcome. This book by the authors offers a detailed and accurate account of this exciting process. And I shall say that is certainly up-to-date.” – (from the Preface) Javier García-Rodríguez, Senior Lecturer of Literary Theory and Comparative Literature, University of Valladolid

“This is an ambitious study of the long and complex struggle for equality between the sexes which in the eighteenth century, both in England and Spain, centered on the education of women and their right to stand on equal terms with men. In six comprehensive chapters, packed with information, the authors describe how complex and even painful the slow road towards equality was going to be…It is impossible to do justice to this book in just a brief review, but one can safely say that it contains a wealth of information on how eighteenth-century society saw women and how women saw themselves, as well as on their fight to end the traditional double standards applied to men and women. Whether these double standards still exist or not would be the subject of another book, but, as the authors rightly claim, their book bears witness to the tremendous pioneering work that women started in the eighteenth century.” – R Sala. Department of Languages and European Studies, University of Bradford

Table of Contents

Listado de abreviaturas
Listado de illustraciones
Introducción (María-Isabel García-Martínez)
1. La realidad de la mujer ilustrada en el panorama español e inglés del siglo XVIII (María-José Álvarez-Faedo)
2. Mujer y educación en España e Inglaterra en el siglo XVIII (María-José Álvarez-Faedo)
3. La educación del la mujer en la prensa en el siglo XVIII en Inglaterra y en España (Lioba Simon-Schuhmacher)
4. La erudición de la mujer ilustrada en España e Inglaterra (María-Isabel García-Martínez)
5. Enseñar a “estar”: modales y morales (María- Isabel García-Martínez)
6. Enseñar a “(prot)estar”: libertades e igualdades (María-Isabel García-Martínez)
Epílogo (María-José Álvarez-Faedo)
Índice onomástico

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