by MC Cordue. London: T Nelson & Sons (n.d. c.1900)
A surprising amount of Improving Literature for Girls from this era involved heroines or around twelve or so looking after orphaned/lost/poor/random babies.
This puzzles me. Was the reason:
a) a pervasive Moses complex in children’s writers,
b) that care for random babies was thought to be the perfect Improving Task for an adolescent girl,
c) that the world really was so full of orphans and foundlings at the time that it was merely a reflection of life’s realities for middle-class Sunday-school-attending children, or
d) that writers simply didn’t give a toss about what a twelve-year old might actually be interested in, and wanted merely to reinforce Motherhood as her Purpose in Life?