Lawson and Paterson (one the artist, the other the engraver)


Wood engraving

Ellen Barlee, Three Paths in Life: A Tale for Girls

©The British Library. All Rights Reserved (shelf mark, 4413.l.9)

The frontispiece depicts high-minded young Annie Gray at school, where she already separates herself from idle talk, and expresses a desire to raise women's awareness of their caring roles. Annie, who gives her whole life to the poor, seems to be the true heroine of the story, but Barlee holds up another of the girls, the kindly Minnie, as an attainable model for the majority.

Photograph and Text byJacqueline Banerjee