Writers-in-Residence: Women Teachers and the Formation of Character in Hardy’s Jude the Obscure

Memel, J. (2022) Writers-in-Residence: Women Teachers and the Formation of Character in Hardy’s Jude the Obscure. Journal of Victorian Culture. ISSN 1355-5502

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In this article I argue that ‘the formation of the character’ of the teacher, a phrase coined by the pioneer of elementary-school training, James Kay-Shuttleworth, was of as much concern to the novelist as it was to the educationalist. Focusing on what became a classic depiction of Victorian teacher training in Jude the Obscure (1895), I situate Hardy among those educationalists and men of letters held responsible for refashioning character to suit the liberal currents of late nineteenth-century culture. Hardy read about the issue of formation in sources as varied as the letters of his sister Kate, who trained to be a teacher at Salisbury (1877–1879), and the reports of his acquaintance and chief inspector of women’s training colleges (1885–1894) Joshua Fitch. At times his novel reflected the views of the inspectorate, but it also accommodated those who challenged the conception of the teacher that was otherwise imposed upon them. This article therefore contributes to recent interest in overlooked perspectives in the Victorian institution by addressing the ways in which women began shaping a profession in which they had become by far the largest constituent.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2021 Oxford University Press. This is an author-produced version of a paper accepted for publication in Journal of Victorian Culture. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.
Divisions: School of Humanities
Depositing User: Jonathan Memel
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2021 09:48
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2022 10:18
URI: https://bgro.repository.guildhe.ac.uk/id/eprint/865

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