The headmistress, Miss Harriet Rebecca Sandell
, was a disciple of Ruskin
and promoted a liberal education for girls. DR
appreciated her education here, which included studies in English history, English literature, French, German, scripture...
notes the influence of two writers in particular on this volume. As she suggests, Miriam's personal and creative journey begins with a departure, as does Lucy Snowe's in Charlotte Brontë