Girls' School Stories, 1749-1929: Volumes I-VI

Kristine Moruzi (Editor), Michelle Smith (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportEdited Bookpeer-review


As part of the ongoing project of retrieving women writers from the margins of literary and cultural history, scholars of literature, history, and gender studies are increasingly exploring and interrogating girls’ print culture. School stories, in particular, are generating substantial scholarly interest because of their centrality to the history of girls’ reading, their engagement with cultural ideas about the education and socialization of girls, and their enduring popularity with book collectors. However, while serious scholars have begun to document the vast corpus of English-language girls’ school stories, few scholarly editions or facsimile editions of these novels and short stories are readily available.

Girls’ School Stories in English, 1749–1929, a new title from Routledge and Edition Synapse’s History of Feminism series, provides a vital resource to cater to this growing critical interest. This unique collection answers the important need to balance the historical record of canonical literature for young people in the nineteenth century and early twentieth century with popular fictions that had wide, devoted, and—following the emergence of school-series fiction—ongoing readerships. Moreover, existing scholarship has not yet explicated the connections between the British genre and its adaptation to colonial and American readerships, and one of the functions of this collection is to document the evolution of the girls’ school-story genre in Britain to pinpoint the development and contestation of its signature tropes, and to trace the refinement and reproduction of these elements in Canadian, Australian, and American print cultures.

The six volumes in the collection cover the years 1749 to 1929, a temporal span designed to demonstrate the origins of the genre and its development throughout the Victorian and Edwardian eras. It concludes with works from the 1920s that coincide with a peak in the genre’s popularity. And the thematic, rather than chronological, organization of the set allows users easily to compare and contrast (across time and place) school-story conventions and attitudes with issues such as women’s higher education.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAbingdon Oxon UK
Number of pages2444
ISBN (Print)9780415830409
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameHistory of Feminism


  • school stories
  • girls' literature
  • girlhood
  • education
  • socialisation

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