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Victorian Women Writers and the ClassicsThe Feminine of Homer$
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Isobel Hurst

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199283514

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199283514.001.0001

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Classical Training for the Woman Writer

Classical Training for the Woman Writer

Chapter:
(p.52) 2 Classical Training for the Woman Writer
Source:
Victorian Women Writers and the Classics
Author(s):

Isobel Hurst (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199283514.003.0003

Although relatively few Victorian women studied Latin and Greek, earlier female classicists such as Elizabeth Carter acted as models for aspiring scholars. The support of fathers, brothers or mentors was also crucial to women's classical learning. This chapter deals with the shift from women learning classics in the home, to formal education in girls' schools and women's colleges in the second half of the 19th century. Greek was associated with the New Woman through the figure of the Girton Girl and the classical scholar Jane Ellen Harrison, who developed a new approach to the study of Greek religion. As Latin and Greek became more accessible to women, the prestige of classical study was in decline: Vera Brittain, studying in Oxford during the First World War, remarked that it could safely be left to women because it had become an irrelevance.

Keywords:   Elizabeth Carter, fathers, mentors, girls' schools, women's colleges, New Woman, Jane Ellen Harrison, Vera Brittain

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