This article addresses the legacies of Louise Tilly’s work on women and the family in Europe for current studies of girls’ agency in history. Using my preliminary analysis of a body of German periodicals written for girls during the late Enlightenment, I propose some methodological possibilities for combining cultural histories of reading with social historical approaches to the roles played by girls and women in European social life. Tilly’s focus on the life cycle as an organizing principle and the family economy as a key site of history established the importance of such groups to social historical understandings of the past. Though my study incorporates sources outside the usual bounds of social history, it also depends on the analysis and methods of pioneering feminist social historians such as Louise Tilly.


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pp. 97-103
Launched on MUSE
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