Catholicism and children's literature in France

The comtesse de Ségur (1799–1874)

By Sophie Heywood

Catholicism and children's literature in France

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-8466-9
  • Pages: 240
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £60.00
  • Published Date: November 2011
  • BIC Category: Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: classical, early & medieval, Literature
  • Series: Studies in Modern French History


This is the first book-length history of the classic French children's author, the comtesse de Ségur. Virtually unknown in the English-speaking world, in France Ségur is a national icon and a cultural phenomenon.

Generations of children have grown up reading her stories. This book combines a discussion of her life, her works, and their reception with a broader analysis of the cultural context of the mid-nineteenth century. It offers a unique insight into the political engagement of Catholic women through the medium of children's literature and education, and brings out new aspects of the history of publishing aimed at children, with particular reference to the market for books for girls.

With its lively subject matter and accessible style, this book will appeal not only to scholars of nineteenth-century France, but also to specialists and students interested in the fields of children's literature, gender studies, and religious history.


Sophie Heywood is Lecturer in French at the University of Reading.



January Research Endowment Trust Fund Best Research Output Prize


List of abbreviations
List of illustrations
1. Life stories
2. Nobles, saints, and delinquents: constructions of childhood in the collected works of Madame de Ségur
3. The tribulations of an author: writing, censorship and the reading public under the Second Empire
4. The comtesse and the culture wars
5. Model girls and divine women: reading the comtesse de Ségur
Appendix I: The collected works of the comtesse de Ségur
Appendix II: Editions
Select bibliography

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