Five Questions: Rebecca Davies on Written Maternal Authority and Eighteenth-Century Education in Britain

By admin

Rebecca Davies - Written Material Authority and Eighteenth-Century Education in Britain







Rebecca Davies is currently a Teaching Fellow at the University of Edinburgh. She completed her doctorate at Aberystwyth University in 2011, where she also held lectureships in eighteenth and nineteenth-century literature. She spent 2012 teaching at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and has also taught at Birmingham City University and Loughborough University. Her research focuses on areas including women’s writing, epistemology, the materiality of the text, writing for children and discourses of education, concerns which are united in her first monograph, Written Maternal Authority and Eighteenth-Century Education in Britain: Educating by the Book, which was recently published by Ashgate and which we discuss below.

1) How did you first become interested in the implications of ‘textual mothering’?

I began this project with the realisation that Samuel Richardson was unable to construct an archetype of maternity in his 1742 sequel to Pamela; or, Virtue Rewarded (1740). I expected to observe a continuation of exemplary female behaviour, transferring the faultlessness of her chastity to her mothering, in the sequel to his popular novel. Instead, Pamela’s behaviour is conflicted and …read more