The British Reception of Genlis’s Adèle et Théodore, Preceptive Fiction and the Professionalization of Handmade Literacies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Madame de Genlis’s Adéle et Théodore played a pivotal role in the development of the novel of education and its distinctive protagonist type, the powerful educating heroine. Genlis also had a lasting impact on the popularization and professionalization of handmade literacies, or hand-crafted children’s texts that are made for specific children within an intimate, domestic setting. Genlis’s particular contribution to the discourse of handmade literacies in Adelaide and Theodore is to turn a mother’s handmade literacies into mass-produced commodities. She not only describes how to create these items, she turns them into bestselling books. Genlis’s impressive and semi-autobiographical female heroine, the Baroness d’Almane, had a powerful impact on female British education writers such as Clara Reeve, Sarah Trimmer, and Anna Barbauld, who, in turn, mass-marketed their own literacy works and pedagogical fictions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalWomen's Writing
StateAccepted/In press - May 6 2017


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Literature and Literary Theory

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