Secret Gardens, Satanic Mills

Secret Gardens, Satanic Mills

Placing Girls in European History, 1750-1960
Edited by Mary Jo Maynes, Birgitte Søland, and Christina Benninghaus
Distribution: World
Publication date: 11/23/2004
Format: paper 328 pages, 20 b&w photos, 2 figures, 1 index
6.125 x 9.25
ISBN: 978-0-253-21710-3
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Secret Gardens, Satanic Mills offers a comparative history of European girlhood from 1750 to 1960, with a focus on Britain, France, and Germany. It covers diverse issues in the lives of girls, from sexuality and leisure to social roles in the family and the economy. A corrective to historians’ traditionally male orientation toward youth, the volume brings girls to the center of European history, emphasizing their importance in European economics and culture. It also identifies cultural and temporal differences within the European experience, particularly with regard to the spaces girls occupied. While the contributors appreciate the importance of systemic and institutional factors in shaping young girls’ lives, they are also sensitive to the ways in which girls have been able to resist dominance and create their own destinies.

The contributors are Kathleen Alaimo, Christina Benninghaus, Pamela Cox, Clare Crowston, Anna Davin, Andreas Gestrich, Céline Grasser, Irene Hardach-Pinke, Elizabeth Bright Jones, Clair Langhamer, Mary Jo Maynes, Carol E. Morgan, Tammy M. Proctor, Rebecca Rogers, Karin Schmidlechner, Deborah Simonton, Birgitte Søland, and Mary Lynn Stewart.

Author Bio

Mary Jo Maynes is Professor of History at the University of Minnesota.

Birgitte Søland is Associate Professor of History at The Ohio State University.

Christina Benninghaus is on the Faculty of History at the University of Bielefeld, Germany.


"These papers on a wide range of subjects concerning 18th- to 20th-century European young womanhood underscore the distinctive role young girls played in the economic, social, cultural, and political life of their respective countries. The articles prove conclusively that for the overwhelming majority of young European women, work outside the home was a reality. The book's most important feature is the broad overview of the ways in which European societies shaped girls through laws, schools, apprenticeships, sermons, and advice. The articles are divided into four parts. The first examines the experiences of lower-class girls in the working world. The second section discusses middle- and upper-class girls who, though not expected to work outside the home, were relentlessly groomed in order to achieve a proper marriage. The third group of articles illustrates how the increasing importance of scientific study in the late, 19th and early, 20th centuries defined young women by their bodies. The final section shows how work and leisure changed for young women of all classes throughout the late 19th century and into the modern era. An important addition to any discussion of European women. Summing Up: Recommended. All academic levels/libraries." —R. V. A. Gomez, Anne Arundel Community College , Choice , January 2006

". . . While almost all of the essays would easily fit into larger literatures of family, sexuality, consumer culture, and/or domesticity, their publication together is especially illuminating as a way of seeing shifts in institutional and social perceptions of young unmarried women. . . This is a fine collection of articles that adds to our understanding of girlhood and even serves to justify a new historical focus on young girls who might otherwise have been overlooked for their historical unimportance as both young and female." —

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Table of Contents

Part I. Working Girls' Labor and Lives in the Pre-industrial and Early Industrial Eras
1. Deborah Simonton: Bringing up Girls: Work in Pre-Industrial Europe
2. Mary Jo Maynes: In Search of Arachne's Daughters: European Girls, Economic Development, and the Textile Trade, 1750-1880
3. Andreas Gestrich: After Dark: Girls' Leisure, Work and Sexuality in Eighteenth- and
Nineteenth-century Rural Southwest Germany
4. Clare Crowston: An Industrious Revolution in Late Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Paris: New Vocational Training for Adolescent Girls and the Creation of Female Labor Markets
5. Carol E. Morgan: Work for Girls? The Small Metal Industries in England, 1840-1915.

II. Spaces of Socialization of Middle- and Upper-class Girls in the 18th and 19th Centuries
6. Irene Hardach-Pinke: Managing Girls' Sexuality Among the German Upper Classes
7. Rebecca Rogers: Porous Walls and Prying Eyes: Control, Discipline, and Morality in Boarding Schools for Girls in mid-19th century France.
8. Céline Grasser: Good Girls vs. Blooming Maidens: The Building of Female Middle-Class Identities in the Garden, England and France, 1820-1870.

III. Redefining Girlhood: Competing Discourses on Female Adolescence, 1880 - 1950
9. Kathleen Alaimo: The Authority of Experts: The Crisis of Female Adolescence in France and England, 1880-1920.
10. Mary Lynn Stewart: Sex Education and Sexual Initiation of Bourgeois French Girls, 1880-1930.
11. Christina Benninghaus: In Their Own Words: Girls' Representations of Growing Up in Germany in the 1920s.
12. Pamela Cox: Girls in Trouble. Defining Female Delinquency, Britain 1900-1950.

IV. Changing Patterns of Work and Leisure, 1880-1960
13. Anna Davin: Young Women and Clerical Work in England, 1880-1910.
14. Elizabeth Jones: Girls in Court: Mägde versus their Employers in Saxony, 1880-1914.
15. Tammy Proctor: 'Something for the girls': Organized Leisure in Europe, 1890-1930.
16. Birgitte Søland: Employment and Enjoyment: Female Coming of Age Experiences in Denmark, 1880-1930.
17. Claire Langhamer: Leisure, Pleasure and Courtship: Young Women in England, 1920-1960.
18. Karin M. Schmidlechner: The Emergence of the Modern Teenage Girl in Austria after World War II.