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Educating the Other

Foreign Governesses in Wallachia in the First Half of the Nineteenth Century

Nicoleta Roman


This article explores the role of foreign governesses in the early nineteenth century in the province of Wallachia, a principality in the southeastern part of present-day Romania and a peripheral territory at the intersection of the Habsburg, Russian, and Ottoman empires. It focuses on the professional integration of governesses into Romanian society, exploring their complementary routes of activity, both in private educational networks for the elite and in the emerging educational institutions for girls. Their cultural identities as transnational teachers sometimes collided with local perceptions and employers’ ambitions, and the study sheds light on the different categories of governesses and how they succeeded in keeping up with a certain model for governesses that prevailed in this period.