Rien appris? Children's émigré novels, French emigré schools in Britain, and the challenge of education in exile
- Číslo 57 
PublisherUniverzita Karlova, Filozofická fakulta
SourceLitteraria Pragensia, 2019, 57, 102-118
KeywordsKeywords not found
The limits of Talleyrand’s pernicious (and partly apocryphal) dictum that the émigrés had “learnt nothing” and “forgotten nothing” become obvious with regard to émigré education. Educating their children as France’s future elites after the imagined Restoration was a persistent concern for French émigrés after 1789. Under difficult living conditions and with unclear prospects of political exile, education became a consolidating strategy for combating the Revolution with pedagogy. The first part of this article discusses the social expectations of émigré education as reflected in children’s émigré novels by Stéphanie de Genlis, Lucy Peacock and Mary Pilkington. The second part explores how British émigré schools put such expectations into practice. The social composition, educational programs and public engagement of émigré schools reveal their pivotal role in émigré community life, involving priests, women, writers, politicians, local supporters – and children. The article shows how education helped to strengthen the émigrés’ identity and mobilise their hosts for the ideological, military and humanitarian struggle against the Revolution.