Three Centuries of Girls' Education

Three Centuries of Girls' Education

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Regulations of the Ursuline Nuns of the Congregation of Paris

In Three Centuries of Girls’ Education, Mary Anne O’Neil offers both an examination and the first English translation of Les Règlemens des religieuses Ursulines de la Congrégation de Paris. Published in 1705, Regulations is the first pedagogical system explicitly designed for the education of girls. It is also one of the few surviving documents describing the day-to-day operations of early Ursuline schools.

O’Neil traces the history of the document from the writings of the Italian foundress of the Ursulines, to the establishment of the religious order in Paris in 1612, to the changes in the organization of Ursuline schools in nineteenth-century France, and, finally, to Mother Marie de St. Jean Martin’s spirited defense of the traditional French Ursuline method after World War II. In the eighteenth century, New Orleans Ursulines used the Regulations as a guide to establish their schools and teaching methods. Overall, O’Neil’s history and translation recover a vital source for historians of the early modern era but will also interest scholars in the fields of education history and female religious life