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

By Rebecca Rogers

Winner of the 2014 Mary Alice and Philip Boucher e-book Prize, backed through the French Colonial ancient Society.

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

Eugénie Luce was once a French schoolteacher who fled her husband and deserted her relatives, migrating to Algeria within the early 1830s. through the mid-1840s she had turn into an enormous determine in debates round academic guidelines, insisting that ladies have been a serious size of the French attempt to impact a fusion of the races. to assist this fusion, she based the 1st French university for Muslim ladies in Algiers in 1845, which thrived till professionals bring to an end her investment in 1861. At this aspect, she switched from educating spelling, grammar, and stitching, to embroidery—an undertaking that attracted the eye of well known British feminists and gave her institution a celebrated attractiveness for generations.

The portrait of this outstanding lady finds the position of ladies and ladies within the imperial tasks of the time and sheds gentle on why they've got disappeared from the ancient list given that then.

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

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33 In Vendôme, the Allixes would have had greater opportunity than in Bléré to mingle with men and women who supported the more liberal ideals of the Revolution of 1830, and teachers were particularly likely to welcome these ideas. 34 Who knows, however, whether either husband or wife mingled with the future revolutionaries and whether these encounters encouraged Eugénie Allix to throw off the bonds of marriage and motherhood. What we do know is that something happened to encourage her to abandon her husband, her daughter, and the proximity of her parents in search of another life.

Her two older sisters married educated men like their father who were local landowners. Marie wed Jean Perdrier, who succeeded Eugénie’s grandfather and then her uncle as mayor of the village of Angé from 1816 until 1840. Their imposing tombstone is still in good shape in Angé’s cemetery more than 150 years after their deaths. 13 His death certificate, however, states that he was a cooper and died in Angé at age twenty. He may indeed have spent some years studying, but by age twenty he had forsworn books for the wine-making business, like his uncle Léonard Berlau.

School teaching was, however, a precarious business, since teachers relied on student fees to survive. In 1824 Sylvain Berlau complained to the prefect that a young man had moved to town and was intending to open a boarding school to teach Latin, even though he was already a tax collector (implying that he already had a decent salary). In no uncertain terms Berlau argued that this school threatened his economic livelihood as well as that of the other schoolteacher in town, the elderly Jean-Pierre Gautier: “The town of Montrichard has a population of 2000 inhabitants, at least half of whom live in garrets and are unable to pay for the instruction of their children.

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