Westover: Giving Girls a Place of Their Own

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Overview

Westover, a girls’ school in Middlebury, Connecticut, was founded in 1909 by emancipated “New Women,” educator Mary Hillard and architect Theodate Pope Riddle. Landscape designer Beatrix Farrand did the plantings. It has evolved from a finishing school for the Protestant elite, including F. Scott Fitzgerald’s first love, to a meritocracy for pupils of many religions and races from all over the world. The fascinating account of the ups and downs of this female community is the subject of Laurie Lisle’s lively and well-researched book. The author describes the innovations of the idealistic minister’s daughter who founded the school in 1909, her intellectual successor who turned it into a college preparatory school in the 1930s, the quiet headmaster who managed to keep it open during the turbulent 1970s, and the prize-winning mathematics teacher, wife, and mother who leads the high school today. This beautifully illustrated book tells an important story about female education during decades of dramatic change in America.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“As a college freshman in the early ’50s, I sang in Red Hall (and have a vivid memory of the elegance of the acoustics, the architecture, and the audience) and have watched Westover march, stagger, and dance its way through almost six decades. This book is a sharp depiction of the journey of a noble school with an unusual sense of its mission.”—Donald H. Werner, executive secretary, The Headmasters Association
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780819568861
  • Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
  • Publication date: 2/20/2009
  • Series: Garnet Books
  • Edition description: Deluxe slipcased edition has same ISBN.
  • Pages: 324
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

LAURIE LISLE is a Westover alumna and the author of four books, including Portrait of an Artist: A Biography of Georgia O’Keeffe (1980) and Four Tenths of an Acre: Reflections on a Gardening Life (2005). She lives in Sharon, Connecticut.

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Table of Contents

Dedication
Preface: My Westover
Acknowledgments
Chapter One: Miss Hillard and her Era: Protestant and Progressive
Chapter Two: Creating a School: “A Real Girls’ Republic”
Chapter Three: The Art of Living: A Balanced Life
Chapter Four: The Spirit of the School: Engaging Youthful Idealism
Chapter Five: Louise Bulkley Dillingham: Becoming Miss D
Chapter Six: Encouraging Independence: Democracy and Honor
Chapter Seven: The Desire for Justice: Admitting Negro Students
Chapter Eight: A Great Lady: Honors and Illness
Chapter Nine: Days of Desperation: Rebellion and Falling Enrollment
Chapter Ten: Regaining Balance: Finding the Courage to Continue
Chapter Eleven: Classroom Innovations: Learning from Girls
Chapter Twelve: Backlash: Defining the Difference
Chapter Thirteen: The Ethic of Care: Defending Girls’ Schools
Notes
Index

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