La Jeune Fille de XVIII Siecle: The Young Girl from the 18th Century
I found this curious book some time ago. When you search for it on the internet, it’s prefaced with “nos petites grandes mères” or “our little grandmothers.” I love etchings and engravings (having done quite a few myself) so I when I first flipped through the pages, I marveled at the romanticized French scenes from the 18th century. As I continued on, I was reminded of how limited the women’s world was at that time. It’s the same confined spaces that reappear in all the images.
Nostalgia & Feminism
The book, as far as I can understand, is a kind of manual for young girls of the time. A collection of what is expected from them. On International women’s day, I thought I would share with you these images for your own ponderings on the history of women in the Western world.
A lot of the scenes are from either popular culture or literature. The single images are powerful enough to make you imagine the entire story. Here are some of my favourites.
Many of the engravings are by Hubert-François Bourguignon d’Anville ( – ) known simply as Gravelot. He was a French artist that gained some fame in London, cultivating a certain taste in England for the “French style.” He even illustrated plays by William Shakespeare.
I’ve seen a few of these books for sale on the internet. There are 200 engravings in La Jeune Fille de XVIIIme Siècle in total.
Do you recognize any of the scenes from literature?