ABSTRACT

This chapter analyses how the histories of independent, private, fee-paying schools for girls present the origins, development and social worlds of those institutions. It examines the histories of the schools as texts, which are the vehicle for conveying certain messages about the schools to an audience. It focuses on a study of how girls’ schools have presented themselves in their official published histories. The chapter scrutinizes books such as the two volumes of history about the City of Cardiff High School for Girls by Carr and Leech. Carr’s The Spinning Wheel covers the 1895-1955 period, Leech deals with 1950-70. There are six topics that earlier work on the history of women’s education has revealed as being problematic for the schools to deal with. A particular focus of this analysis is the ways in which the histories report these topics, which are: dress and deportment; sport; class and religion; relations with males; curriculum; and feminism, especially suffragism.