Query From Sarah Klein

sklein2@aol.com 20 April 2000

I'm looking for secondary sources on 19th C. American conduct literature for girls. So far I've only come up with Nancy Armstrong's book _Ideology of Conduct_, but I know there must be more out there than my MLA and university library searches seem to be suggesting...any leads? I'm at the beginning stages of a study of conduct literature for girls, as well as writing/theoretical practices of the period, in relation to Louisa May Alcott's novel _Little Women_.

Responses:

Bushman, _The Refinement of America_

Halttunen, Karen _Confidence Men and Painted Women_

Hemphill, C. Dallett _Bowing to Necessities: A History of Manners in America, 1620-1860_ (Oxford, 1999).

Kasson, John _Rudeness and Civility_

Newton, Sarah E. _Learning to Behave: A Guide to American Conduct Books Before 1900_ (Greenwood Press, 1994).

Schlesinger, Arthur M. _Learning How to Behave: A Historical Study of American Etiquette Books_ (NY: Macmillan, 1946).

Sklar, Kathryn Kish _Cult of Domesticity

_ Vallone, Lynne _Disciplines of Virtue: Girls' Culture in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries_ (New Haven, Yale U Press, c. 1995)

Other Suggestions:

Making of America Webpage
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/ndlpcoop/moahtml/mncspself.html

...I researched women's health in the special collections room at Vassar College three years ago and there are some primary documents relating to general conduct for women in the 19th century, esp. college age women. Maybe the special collections rooms of some formerly all women's colleges might be of use.

Primary Source Microfilm, an imprint of Gale Group, has just released a microfilm collection entitled, "The Social and Cultural Construction of Girls," that includes 183 titles, focusing mainly on the 19th century. It includes an essay on girls written by Jane Hunter, Assoc. Prof. and Chair of the History Dept. at Lewis and Clark College. I'd be happy to provide more info on the collection. Contact: Nathalie Duvall, Editor 12 Lunar Dr. Woodbridge, CT 06525

e-mail: nathalie.duvall@galegroup.com
see website at http://www.galegroup.com, Tel. 203-392-3021 or Fax 203-397-3893