Knowing Women is a comprehensive study of female education in nineteenth-century Australia, placed in international perspective. It covers a wide range of topics, including the evolution of the teaching profession; the private ladies' academies and their proprietors; the entry of women to the universities and the professions; the establishment of academic secondary schools, both Church and state; girls' experience of compulsory state elementary schooling; and the schooling of outcast girls. The study is rich in narrative and biographical interest, based, where possible, on the experiences of individual girls and women. Knowing Women explores the ambiguities of its material, showing how education could both open and restrict opportunities for women. The author's perspective allows her to contribute to current historical debates on women, culture, education, sexuality and the state.
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