Elizabeth Inchbald ends her first novel, A Simple Story (1791)declaring that her aim has been to show that even a daughter must receive“A PROPER EDUCATION.” The phrase has been taken to sum up thenovel's argument, unifying it and linking it to the debates aboutwomen's education that raged around the time Inchbald composed andpublished her work. Yet the title seems to signal an ironic intent that willundermine any easy categorization of the novel's purpose. Indeed, thoughthe tale does offer a commentary on women's education, the structural,narrative, and psychological complexities are what have drawn readers to ASimple Story for over two hundred years.
The tale combines two plots separated by a time-span of …
Waters, Mary. "A Simple Story". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 10 October 2002
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