Saturday, January 14, 2006

Don't Know Much About May Baldwin

About The Author

I haven't been able to find out anything about May Baldwin yet, by just doing searches on the net. I'll continue trying, though. I'd like to find and read some of her other books. (See previous entry.) I have found her mentioned along with other authors of the "girl school"-type novels, though.

In these articles, The History of Girls' School Stories and Reviews & Criticism 1906-1945, Baldwin was only briefly mentioned, but I thought the articles themselves were interesting reads. I always enjoyed those types of books when I was younger. The articles bring out that by 1920 the number of girls between the ages of 12 and 18 who attended school had risen from 20,000 in 1897 to 185,000. The genre of girls' school stories became established and the most popular form of reading during the first quarter of the 20th Century.

There is some really fascinating information in these articles about how education facilities for girls came about. I hadn't realized until reading this that St. Andrew's in Scotland had been the first girls' public school.

About the genre of girls' school stories the first article says: "However, from the beginning the genre did not appeal only to girls who were receiving a middle-class girls' education..., but also to those educated at home and from lower-middle-class and working-class backgrounds. There were initially far more readers of school stories than there were British girls receiving secondary education, and many girls encountered the genre before the experience of school itself. It was not simply the representation of readers' own lives, then, which appealed to them about girls' school stories....In marked contrast to boys' reading, the reading of fiction was regarded as asuitable pastime for young women, as long as what they read was not considered to be challenging or corrupting in any way."

I would still like to find out more about May Baldwin. Hopefully I can. I really enjoyed re-reading MURIEL AND HER AUNT LU, and would like to purchase a copy with a binding in better shape than mine, because it printed with truly lovely binding! I look forward to Eler Beth reading it someday. It is a very good book.

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