By Beth Rodgers
This booklet examines the development of adolescent girlhood throughout a number of genres within the last many years of the 19th century. It argues that there has been a preoccupation with defining, characterising and naming adolescent girlhood on the fin de siècle. those ‘daughters of today’, ‘juvenile spinsters’ and ‘modern girls’, because the press variously termed them, occupying a borderland among adolescence and womanhood, have been visible to be inextricably attached to past due nineteenth-century modernity: they have been the goods of alterations happening in schooling and employment and of the problem to standard conceptions of femininity provided through the lady query. the writer argues that the moving nature of the fashionable adolescent lady made her a malleable cultural determine, and a gathering element for lots of of the popular debates linked to fin-de-siècle society. by way of juxtaposing assorted fabric, from children’s books and women’ magazines to New girl novels and mental reports, the writer contextualises adolescent girlhood as a different yet advanced cultural type on the finish of the 19th century.
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Additional resources for Adolescent Girlhood and Literary Culture at the Fin de Siècle: Daughters of Today
Ultimately, however, the modern girl resists definitive categorization. These factors continue to be in flux across the period, as opposed to static and closed, which is just one of the reasons the girl can be put to such a range of symbolic uses by various authors, commentators and readers. Given the variety of ways in which the adolescent girl may be identified— by age, class, marital status, working life, puberty, psychological characteristics, self-knowledge (or lack thereof)—my exploration of literary INTRODUCTION: DEBATING AND DEFINING GIRLHOOD AT THE FIN DE...
28. 228. 29. 115. 30. 234. 31. 122. 32. G. Appleton and Company, 1914, originally published in 1904), vol. I, p. xv. 33. Hall, Adolescence, vol. I, p. xviii. 34. Hall, Adolescence, vol. 574. 35. Hall, Adolescence, vol. 624. 36. 13. 37. Ferrall and Jackson’s book produces some illuminating readings of adolescence, but in this study I suggest that the particular symbolic value of the modern girl, together with the specificities of the contexts associated with girlhood, mean that adolescent girlhood needs to be considered on its own terms and not together with boyhood, which is the approach taken by Ferrall and Jackson.
84. 85. 86. 87. 88. 89. 90. CHAPTER 2 Classifying Girlhood, Creating Heroines: Aspiration, Community and Competition in the Girl’s Own Paper and the Girl’s Realm In the ranks of the middle-class girls the most varied types are to be found. There is the daughter of the millionaire, preparing herself to lead the brilliant, many-sided life of the wealthy, and there, too, is the wage-earning girl beginning in her teens the struggle with life. 1 Much of the above excerpt from Marian Leslie’s ‘All Sorts and Conditions of Girlhood’, published in Girl’s Realm in 1899, resonates with the debates about what constitutes girlhood raised so far in this book, as well as those yet to come.