This article examines the interactions between family life and institutional life from an exceptional source: a family diary kept by a couple of teachers—Joséphine and Félix Bachellery—between 1835 and 1852. A renowned boarding school teacher in Paris under the July Monarchy, Joséphine Bachellery was known for her public stance in favour of secondary education for girls. The diary bears witness to the private side of her commitments and reveals a story that is rarely told: what the family does in the educational institution. In chronicling family life, the diary cannot avoid the setting for their domestic life: a large boarding school where the headmistress acted as a business manager, a teacher and a mother. The proposed analysis looks at two questions: the place of family ties in the workings of an institution, and the way in which the demands of the boarding school interfered in family life, sometimes putting a strain on the emotional ties between parents and children.
Family life in an institutionBy Rebecca Rogers