Jennifer Drake Askey’s book provides a valuable contribution to a number of fields<br>within German studies: from gender studies, women’s literature, and cultural studies<br>to youth and children’s literature. Askey combines historical, cultural, and literary<br>research to create a well-rounded and yet multi-faceted picture of the way in which<br>female gender ideology not only developed but was intentionally crafted and dissem-<br>inated in late nineteenth-century Germany. Askey investigates through close readings<br>the institutional framework of girls’ education as represented by curricular documents<br>and, most particularly, texts such as school readers as well as the popular genres of<br>Ma<br> ̈ dchenliteratur<br>. Texts read and taught within the context of girls’ formal education<br>and fiction written for leisure reading share a common goal: to provide an interpretive<br>framework through which young female readers are instructed to envision and fashion<br>themselves into a specifically feminine gender construct that is presented as instru-<br>mental in the development of the new German nation-state. The notion of femininity<br>put forth in these texts is highly idealistic and rests firmly on emotional qualities, to<br>which intellectual and physical attributes are subordinated.
|State||Published - Dec 2015|