Records of Girlhood: Volume Two: An Anthology of Nineteenth-Century Women’s Childhoods, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Records of Girlhood

Volume Two: An Anthology of Nineteenth-Century Women’s Childhoods, 1st Edition

By Valerie Sanders


240 pages

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In this sequel to her 2000 anthology, Valerie Sanders again brings together an influential group of women whose autobiographical accounts of their childhoods show them making sense of the children they were and the women they have become. The fourteen women included juxtapose recollections of the bizarre with the quotidian and accounts of external events with the development of a complex inner life. Reading and acting are important themes, as is the precariousness of childhood, whether occasioned by a father's financial pressures or the early death of a parent. Significantly, most grew up expecting to earn their own living. The collection includes children's authors (Frances Hodgson Burnett and E. Nesbit), political figures (Emmeline Pankhurst and Louisa Twining), and well-known writers (Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Anne Thackeray Ritchie, Sarah Grand). Of relevance to scholars working in the fields of women’s autobiography, the history of childhood, and Victorian literature, this anthology includes a scholarly introduction and brief biographical sketches of each woman.


'Valerie Sanders's Records of Girlhood, Volume 2 is a worthy companion to its predecessor. Juxtaposing accounts of their childhoods by fourteen women born between the 1780s and the 1860s, Sanders's volume complements its highly readable texts with thought-provoking editorial material, including detailed annotations and lively introductory notes. The result is an accessible and varied tapestry of girlhoods that should be of interest to general readers as well as to scholars'. Claudia Nelson, Texas A&M University, USA ’…Sanders helps to illustrate how the relative formlessness of Victorian girlhood, represented from women’s adult vantage points, shapes both the recollection of and writing about them.’ Notes and Queries ’Valerie Sanders has chosen her memoirists - or rather her memoirs - with a shrewd and practised eye as to what specialists and non-specialists alike will fi nd most useful and enjoyable. … a charming insight into what it was like to be young, female and privileged (or, at least, not cold and hungry) two hundred years ago.’ The Brown Book

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; Lady Morgan; Anna Eliza Bray; Mary Wright Sewell; Mary Cowden Clarke; Louisa Twining; Marianne North; Mary Elizabeth Braddon; Anne Thackeray Ritchie; Frances Hodgson Burnett; Sarah Grand and Ménie Muriel Dowie; Emmeline Pankhurst; E. Nesbit; Mary Cholmondeley; Select bibliography; Index.

About the Author

Valerie Sanders is Professor of English at the University of Hull, UK. Previous publications include a first Records of Girlhood collection (2000), The Brother-Sister Culture in Nineteenth-Century Literature: From Austen to Woolf (2002), and The Tragi-Comedy of Victorian Fatherhood (2009). She is currently a contributor to Pickering and Chatto’s Selected Works of Margaret Oliphant.

About the Series

The Nineteenth Century Series

The Nineteenth Century Series

The Nineteenth Century Series aims to develop and promote new approaches and fresh directions in scholarship and criticism on nineteenth-century literature and culture. The series encourages work which erodes the traditional boundary between Romantic and Victorian studies and welcomes interdisciplinary approaches to the literary, religious, scientific and visual cultures of the period. While British literature and culture are the core subject matter of monographs and collections in the series,  the editors encourage proposals which explore the wider, international contexts of nineteenth-century literature – transatlantic, European and global.  Print culture, including studies in the newspaper and periodical press, book history, life writing and gender studies are particular strengths of this established series as are high quality single author studies.  The series also embraces research in the field of digital humanities. The editors invite proposals from both younger and established scholars in all areas of nineteenth-century literary studies. 

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LITERARY CRITICISM / Comparative Literature