Educating Pulchera

Desirée Henderson

University of Texas Arlington

I taught The Story of Constantius and Pulchera in an undergraduate course that surveyed the representation of female education from the 1790s to the present. I originally intended to pair Foster’s The Boarding School and The Coquette, particularly as The Boarding School is now available to us in (astonishingly) two new student editions. My intent was to provide my students with contrasting examples of, on the one hand, young women who are “properly” educated and comply with the gender norms of the New Republic (in The Boarding School) and, on the other, a young woman (The Coquette’s Eliza Wharton) whose education appears to fail, resulting in her seduction and death.   Continue reading “Educating Pulchera”