Book, 'Dr Ahn's First French Course'; Dr Ahn; 1877; XAH.C.1065




Book, 'Dr Ahn's First French Course'


Dr Ahn

Maker Role



J. J. B. Poclet

Maker Role


About this object

This hardbound textbook, entitled ‘Dr Ahn’s First French Course,’ was used by a number of the Kerr Taylor children including Winifred, Daisy, and Violet.

Winifred, Daisy, and Violet attended a private primary school in Morningside, Auckland, which consisted of only 10 pupils. Unfortunately, Daisy died of ‘brain fever’ on 15 September 1885, aged nine. Although it is not known for certain what was meant by ‘brain fever’, it is likely that it was some form of meningitis.(1)

Once Winifred and Violet had graduated from primary school, they attended Auckland Girls’ High school where they studied subjects such as arithmetic, geography, French, Latin, sewing, singing, drawing. During her schooling, Violet may have also studied science subjects as her name can be found in a number of scientific textbooks in Alberton’s library, including elementary botany, inorganic chemistry, elementary chemistry and physics.

During the 19th century, educating girls was seen by many parents to be fruitless. This was because women were expected to marry, have children, and run a household, all of which did not need formal education. It was common for girls to attend primary school in order to obtain a basic knowledge of reading, writing, and maths, but they were less likely to attend secondary school. (2) However, the Kerr Taylor sisters came from a well-off family, and subsequently received a higher education that most other girls of her era.

(1) Jan Harris, ‘Alberton and Its Family,’ 1999.
(2) Anne Else, ‘Gender Inequalities – Education,’ Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand, URL:, accessed 6 May 2014

For more information about the Kerr Taylor family and Alberton, which is cared for by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga, visit our website.

Medium and Materials



16 x 10cm

Date Made


Place Made

London, England


T. & J. Allman

Publication Date


Publication Place

London, England

Credit Line

Collection of Alberton, Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga

Object Type


Object number


Copyright Licence  

All rights reserved

This object is from
Alberton   Alberton

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