Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Governess; or, The Little Female Academy” as Want to Read:
The Governess; or, The Little Female Academy
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Governess; or, The Little Female Academy

2.79  ·  Rating Details  ·  95 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Published in 1749, the story of Mrs. Teachum and the nine pupils who make up her “little female academy” is widely recognized as the first full-length novel for children, and the first to be aimed specifically at girls. The daily experiences of Mrs. Teachum’s charges are interwoven with fables and fairy tales illustrating the book’s underlying principles, which draw on con ...more
Paperback, 242 pages
Published September 26th 2005 by Broadview Press (first published 1749)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Governess; or, The Little Female Academy, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Governess; or, The Little Female Academy

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 195)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Gemma (Passion for Novels)
Sep 05, 2011 Gemma (Passion for Novels) rated it really liked it
Recommended to Gemma (Passion for Novels) by: Birmingham City University
Shelves: university
I was unsure whether to give this book 3 or 4 stars as the characters were very well developed even though we had little information about them it gave you a sense of caring for the characters.

The story was made up of stories of nine children in which Fielding incorporated all their misgivings to establish a enviroment in which to teach the reader (namely children) morals and ideals of their attitudes in the world and what would make them happy. Fielding provides the enviroment of a school and
Jan 21, 2010 Miriam marked it as to-read
Shelves: school
Sarah, younger sister of Henry Fielding, wrote the first English novel intended explicitly for children. She and Henry lived together and made their living writing until he married and resumed practicing law to provide for his children. There is some thought that the siblings may have sometimes written bits of one another's books. She was also a biographer, critic, and translator.
Kristen Mohr
Like a combination of Canterbury Tales and A Little Princess, but boring. I would have rather just had the stories without the unnecessary framing device to make sure the readers understand the subtext. Especially disappointed considering the book started with a fist fight.
May 31, 2016 Anna rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this book but am used to reading novels from the late 1800s and early 1900s. I imagine it would be far too overtly moralistic for the average twenty-first century reader. Although this is a children's book, I would not recommend it for children today.
Mar 26, 2016 Mary rated it it was ok
An interesting look at what was thought to be suitable literature for children in the 18th century. More moralistic than entertaining, this is more of a lesson in historical gender ideals than book for entertainment.
Feb 07, 2014 Mirte rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2014
Still very moralistic in tone, the Governess does manage to tell the realistic story of a group of young girls, each with their own faults, trying to be better. The fairytales that are used to instruct them were quite interesting from a gender point of view, as well as simply quite entertaining.
Jan 11, 2012 Dina rated it liked it
Shelves: classic
I had to read this for my eighteenth century lit class last semester. This book is considered one of the first novels written specifically for children, and it is fascinating in how different it is from the children's books we read today. It is incredibly didactic, but quite entertaining in its own right. The book reflects many of Locke's viewpoints on the education of children.
Lana Del Slay
Oct 05, 2013 Lana Del Slay rated it liked it
It was neither here nor there, a charming morality tale. Obviously heavy-handed; what else would you expect of a novel that was meant to instruct its readers? For all that, it's cute enough to be worth a browse.
Nov 08, 2015 Rebeccadanielle rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction-pre1900
Very moral based and at times hard to read but once you get past that it's actually a decent book.
Nov 17, 2007 Suzanne added it
Recommends it for: Eh
This book, in all its 130-page glory, is pure torture. I can't force myself to finish it. I'm a disgrace.
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
Originally published in 1749.
Tracey Billson
Tracey Billson marked it as to-read
Jun 27, 2016
BookSweetie marked it as to-read
Jun 20, 2016
Samantha Irene
Samantha Irene rated it liked it
May 25, 2016
Carys marked it as to-read
May 11, 2016
Erica rated it liked it
Mar 25, 2016
May marked it as to-read
Mar 22, 2016
Elina rated it liked it
Apr 13, 2016
Phoenix marked it as to-read
Mar 16, 2016
Lilly rated it it was ok
Feb 13, 2016
Mary rated it it was ok
Feb 11, 2016
Erin rated it it was ok
Feb 14, 2016
Eric rated it it was ok
Jan 22, 2016
Suzanne rated it liked it
Jan 27, 2016
Kim Boland
Kim Boland rated it liked it
Jan 16, 2016
Marie marked it as to-read
Jan 10, 2016
Kristina marked it as to-read
Oct 30, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Sarah Fielding was a British author and sister of the novelist Henry Fielding. She was the author of The Governess, or The Little Female Academy (1749), which was the first novel in English written especially for children (children's literature), and had earlier achieved success with her novel The Adventures of David Simple (1744).
More about Sarah Fielding...

Share This Book