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  • Published: 10 Jan 2015
  • DOI: 10.4324/9781848935228
  • Set ISBN: 9781848935228

Set Contents

In Statu Pupillari


When Fanny Johnson's novel In Statu Pupillari was published anonymously in 1907, reviewers praised what they saw as its faithful picture of student life. The Daily Mail called it a Veracious study', the Times Literary Supplement praised its 'faithful presentment of a phase of life at Cambridge', and the Academy predicted that 'girl graduates past and present will eagerly scan these pages for portraits and characteristics of the well-known people of their day'. Such verisimilitude seemed to suggest that the anonymous author was, as the Speaker put it, 'probably a former Newnham student', perhaps following in the steps of former Newnhamhite Alice Stronach, whose novel A Newnham Friendship had been published to similar acclaim seven years earlier. In fact, the reviewers were wrong in their assumptions about the novel's author; far from being a recent Newnham graduate, the author was the 52-year-old former Headmistress of the Bolton High School for Girls, Miss Fanny Johnson. From its very beginnings, therefore, In Statu Pupillari has been characterized by a blend of fact and fiction that complicates its initial reception as a dull but faithful portrait of 'real' Cambridge life. As such, it is more than typical of women's university fiction of the period. While all university fiction necessitates the balancing of novelistic skill with faithful representation of the university scene, authors of women's university novels faced additional challenges. For authors like Johnson, writing a university novel meant constant negotiation between the demands of their form, the often heated discourse that surrounded the higher education of women, and the representation of the challenging (and often quite painful) experiences of women students in real-world Oxbridge. Johnson's position as a quasi-outsider (she had, as I will detail below, many ties to Cambridge, but was not herself a student) adds both a distance and a depth to our contemporary reading of In Statu Pupillari that allows us to more easily trace such negotiations.

Volume Contents

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    Front Matter
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    Introduction: In Statu Pupillari: A Story of Girls at Cambridge
  • In Statu Pupillari
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      Chapter I
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      Chapter II
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      Chapter III
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      Chapter IV
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      Chapter V
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      Chapter VI
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      Chapter VII
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      Chapter VIII
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      Chapter IX
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      Chapter X
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      Chapter XI
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      Chapter XII
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      Chapter XIII
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      Chapter XIV
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      Chapter XV
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      Chapter XVI
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      Chapter XVII
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      Chapter XVIII
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      Chapter XIX
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      Chapter XX
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      Chapter XXI
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      Chapter XXII
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      Chapter XXIII
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      Chapter XXIV
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      Chapter XXV
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      Chapter XXVI
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    Back Matter