A Frenchwoman’s Imperial Story: Madame Luce in by Rebecca Rogers

By Rebecca Rogers

Winner of the 2014 Mary Alice and Philip Boucher booklet Prize, backed via the French Colonial historic Society.

Honorable point out within the 2014 Pinkney Prize, backed through the Society for French historic Studies.

Eugénie Luce was once a French schoolteacher who fled her husband and deserted her relations, migrating to Algeria within the early 1830s. by means of the mid-1840s she had develop into a huge determine in debates round academic regulations, insisting that ladies have been a serious measurement of the French attempt to impact a fusion of the races. to assist this fusion, she based the 1st French college for Muslim ladies in Algiers in 1845, which thrived until eventually gurus bring to an end her investment in 1861. At this aspect, she switched from educating spelling, grammar, and stitching, to embroidery—an exercise that attracted the eye of well known British feminists and gave her institution a celebrated attractiveness for generations.

The portrait of this outstanding girl finds the position of girls and women within the imperial initiatives of the time and sheds gentle on why they've got disappeared from the old checklist in view that then.

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Extra resources for A Frenchwoman’s Imperial Story: Madame Luce in Nineteenth-Century Algeria

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Reconstructing a woman’s life a romantic family story Sometime during the winter of 1857, the British feminist Bessie Rayner Parkes encountered Madame Luce through the intermediary of her close friend Barbara Bodichon. In letters to England to sister feminist Mary Merryweather, Parkes mentioned Madame Luce several times and offers the first relatively lengthy description of her new acquaintance: Yesterday I spent part of the afternoon with Madame Luce who opened out and told me much of her private history.

Alas, her sweetheart died of consumption when she was still younger than twenty, and so “depressed and disheartened,” she accepted the marriage arrangement her parents had made for her with M. Allix. ” She did not want to be a burden to them. ” Still, she did tell her British friends that her future husband had been raised for the priesthood but renounced his vows. No mention of the mistreatment she recounted to Parkes makes its way into the English Woman’s Journal’s version of her history; instead, readers are told: Why he married, and why once married he did not make his young wife happy, is one of those sad mysteries which are best left in the shadowed privacy of domestic life.

In the body of the book, however, I have chosen to emphasize a life story. And although this book pursues questions about girls’ Introduction  schooling, access to knowledge, and work that have long interested me, it places at the center of the story the woman who defended Muslim girls’ right to learn. Her trajectory, her ambitions, and the reactions she generated conjure up the social texture of Algiers during the early years of colonization. Above all, M ­ adame Luce’s life and its legacy bring both European women and Muslim girls squarely into the limelight.

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