Sarah Fielding: The Governess; or Little Female Academy (3087 words)


The Governess; or, The Little Female Academy, by Sarah Fielding (1710-1768) was first published in 1749 and is widely considered “the first full-length example of English juvenile fiction”, albeit not the first children’s book (Avery 2002, p. 145). As a novel, specifically for girls, it is a significant text in the study of eighteenth-century female education. Books written and marketed for children were a growing trend in the eighteenth century paralleling the teachings of John Locke in the aim to educate and entertain the child reader. The title page of Fielding’s novel informs the reader that it was “Calculated for the Entertainment and Instruction of Young Ladies in their Education” (…

Citation: Price, Pamela. "The Governess; or Little Female Academy". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 16 December 2021 [, accessed 19 August 2022.]

40492 The Governess; or Little Female Academy 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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