Skip to main content Accessibility help

Reading German Girlhood: Louise Tilly and the Agency of Girls in European History

  • Emily C. Bruce


This article addresses the legacies of Louise Tilly's work on women and the family in Europe for current studies of girls’ agency in history. Using my preliminary analysis of a body of German periodicals written for girls during the late Enlightenment, I propose some methodological possibilities for combining cultural histories of reading with social historical approaches to the roles played by girls and women in European social life. Tilly's focus on the life cycle as an organizing principle and the family economy as a key site of history established the importance of such groups to social historical understandings of the past. Though my study incorporates sources outside the usual bounds of social history, it also depends on the analysis and methods of pioneering feminist social historians such as Louise Tilly.



Hide All
Freund, Elizabeth (1987) The Return of the Reader: Reader-Response Criticism. London: New Accents.
Für Deutschlands edle Töchter (1801) Leipzig: Johann Gottfried.
Gillis, John R., Tilly, Louise A., and Levine, David, eds. (1992) The European Experience of Declining Fertility, 1850–1970. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.
Göbels, Hubert (1986) Zeitschriften für die deutsche Jugend: Eine Chonographie 1772–1960. Dortmund: Harenberg Kommunikation.
Henzler, Johann Lorenz, ed. (1979–83) Niedersächsisches Wochenblatt für Kinder. Bremen: Gebrüder Helwing.
Lutz, Catherine, and Collins, Jane (1993) Reading National Geographic. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Maynes, Mary Jo, Søland, Birgitte, and Benninghaus, Christina (2005) Secret Gardens, Satanic Mills: Placing Girls in European History, 1750–1960. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
Moustier, Karl Albert de (1803–4) Griechische und römische Mythen: in Briefen an Emilie. Dresden: Heinrich Gerlach.
Nitsch, Paul Friedrich, ed. (1781–82) Für teutsche Mädchen: Eine Wochenschrift. Dresden: H. W. Harpeter.
Rosenblatt, Louise (1978) The Reader, the Text, the Poem: The Transactional Theory of the Literary Work. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press.
Scott, Joan W., and Tilly, Louise A. (1975) “Women's work and the family in nineteenth-century Europe.” Comparative Studies in Society and History 17 (1): 3664.
Sewell, William (1992) “Introduction: Narratives and social identities.” Social Science History 16 (3): 479–88.
St. Clair, William (2004) The Reading Nation in the Romantic Period. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Steinmetz, George (1992) “Reflections on the role of social narratives in working-class formation: Narrative theory in the social sciences.” Social Science History 16 (3): 489516.
Tilly, Louise A. (1985) “Coping with company paternalism: Family strategies of coal miners in nineteenth-century France.” Theory and Society 14 (4): 403–17.
Tilly, Louise A. (1989) “Gender, women's history, and social history.” Social Science History 13 (4): 439–62.
Tilly, Louise A. (1994) “Connections.” American Historical Review 99 (1): 117.
Tilly, Louise A. (1995) “History as exploration and discovery.” Journal of Social History 29 (Supplement): 115–18.
Tilly, Louise A. (1999) “History/women's history: Then/now.” Journal of Women's History 11 (3): 2730.
Tilly, Louise A., and Cohen, Miriam (1982) “Does the family have a history? A review of theory and practice in family history.” Social Science History 6 (2): 131–179.
Tilly, Louise A., and Gurin, Patricia (1990) Women, Politics, and Change. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.
Tilly, Louise A., and Scott, Joan W. (1987 [1978]) Women, Work, and Family. New York: Meuthen.
Wutka, Antonia (1802) Encyklopädie für die weibliche Jugend. Prague: Caspar Widtmann.

Reading German Girlhood: Louise Tilly and the Agency of Girls in European History

  • Emily C. Bruce


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed