A mother educating her daughter remotely through familial correspondence: the letter as a form of female distance education in the eighteenth century

Bynoth, R (2021) 'A mother educating her daughter remotely through familial correspondence: the letter as a form of female distance education in the eighteenth century.' History, 106 (373). pp. 727-750. ISSN 1468-229X

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-229X.13237

Abstract

This article challenges the popular belief that distance learning only took place through formal correspondence courses in the eighteenth century. By examining the correspondence between a mother and her daughter, this article argues that this kind of remote education through letters was a disruptive and organic process, adapting physical learning within the space of letters and postal restraints. This was an emotional process, one that called for the renegotiation of authority and previous learning practices in order for it to succeed. Thus, these letters reveal how letters were not just tools of communication but also important tools for the education of children in a more substantial way than previously thought. Letter-writing is already known to be taught through correspondence and these letters evidence this, but these letters also reveal the instruction of French, domestic chores, household management, tutoring, societal behaviours and emotional management. Consequently, this article offers a case for broadening the definition of distance learning to include less formal educational practices. Thus, this article flags the need for further research on the history of remote education, an area which has particular resonance given shifts towards distance learning as a form of education practice.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: remote education, women, mothers, daughters, letters, emotions
Divisions: School of Writing, Publishing and the Humanities
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-229X.13237
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2021 15:50
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 10:14
URI / Page ID: http://researchspace.bathspa.ac.uk/id/eprint/14424
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