Violent, sexual and even murderous, today’s teen antiheroines have a rich literary lineage dating back to Angela BrazilIt’s 1913, and Angela Brazil’s 10th boarding school story has just been published. By now, Brazil is well on her way to earning her later reputation as boarding school story grand dame. Her books, depicting all-female micro-societies controlled by teenage girls, have redefined the genre; for the first time in British fiction, their friendships, feelings, fears and frustrations take centre stage.Unlike those in the fiction for young women that preceded Brazil’s books – usually emphasising moral instruction and traditional gender roles – her characters are authentic and multi-dimensional. And with a focus on courage and independent spirit over physical appearance, class or other circumstantial factors, the books’ true heroines are the ones bold enough to break the rules.They sneak out at night, they take matters into their own hands; they’re defiant, playful and irrepressible. And despite attempts to control them by archetypal authority figures such as parents and teachers, they never do as they’re told. Today, their hijinks can be read as kitsch nostalgia; at the time the books were published, they were far more radical.Beyond the pages of Brazil’s books, the exciting …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books