- “We Ought to Obey God Rather Than Men”: Obedience and the Development of Spiritually Inspired Independence in the Elsie Dinsmore Series
- Children's Literature Association Quarterly
- Johns Hopkins University Press
- Volume 39, Number 1, Spring 2014
- pp. 88-104
- View Citation
- Additional Information
The Elsie Dinsmore series was a popular series for girls during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Although this series has rarely been recognized for its progressive ideology, a critical examination of the books reveals that Martha Finley created a character, Elsie, whose independence as a woman is deeply rooted in her conservative religious beliefs. This is contradictory to some modern assumptions about the relationship between religion and progressive ideology, but Elsie and her family depict a strong sense of female empowerment through religious faith.