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Title: "As to the education of youth" : the novels of Charlotte Smith and the eighteenth-century and romantic education debates
Author: Cane, Leanne M.
ISNI:       0000 0004 8507 266X
Awarding Body: Northumbria University
Current Institution: Northumbria University
Date of Award: 2019
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This work examines Charlotte Smith’s novels through the lens of her engagement with the eighteenth-century education debates. Despite the burgeoning scholarship on Smith’s works and her evident interest in education, as demonstrated in her didactic works for children, this is an area as yet unexplored in Smith scholarship. It highlights the significance of Smith’s voice in the education debates as she provides a different perspective on education, upbringing, and their outcomes: the product of childhood, or the adult. Not only this, but, as a single mother of twelve children, whom she strived to raise, educate, and find places in the world for throughout her career, Smith offers a unique perspective on late-eighteenth-century education not offered by other, more prominent, female voices such as Maria Edgeworth, Anna Laetitia Barbauld, and Priscilla Wakefield. By examining Smith’s views on education in her novels, it also offers another perspective on Smith’s interest in education as it focuses on her novels rather than the didactic fiction she produced for children. This work has found that Smith was concerned with the outcomes of both male and female education. She explores theories for both throughout her novels and examines in detail what she perceives to be the outcomes of popular educational theories. She is critical of certain educational philosophies and demonstrates herself to be a staunch advocate of others – though often with additional caveats. Smith’s unique perspective on education and upbringing offers significant food for thought for both scholars of Smith’s works and scholars of eighteenth-century education.
Supervisor: Lawlor, Clark ; Stewart, David Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Q300 English studies ; X900 Others in Education