The Governess, or, The Little Female Academy
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Published in 1749, the story of Mrs. Teachum and the nine pupils who make up her “little female academy” is widely recognized as the first full-length novel for children, and the first to be aimed specifically at girls. The daily experiences of Mrs. Teachum’s charges are interwoven with fables and fairy tales illustrating the book’s underlying principles, which draw on contemporary theories of education and virtue. As central to the history of the novel as it is to the development of children’s literature, The Governess is a pioneering work by one of the eighteenth century’s most respected women writers.
This Broadview edition includes a critical introduction that places The Governess in its cultural and literary context; appendices include examples of eighteenth-century educational literature and selections from Fielding’s correspondence.