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Autobiographical Memory In The Making: Wilhelmina Of Prussia’s Childhood Memoirs

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Chapter Summary

Wilhelmina of Prussia's childhood memoirs are interesting from many perspectives: as an historical source; as an early example of an autobiography by a woman and within this genre one of the few examples of childhood memoirs; and additionally as an historical example of the working of memories and the effects in writing them down. At many points in her writings, Wilhelmina reflects on the origins of her memories. In this way the construction of her autobiographical memory can be tracked, and the process itself of recalling memories and writing about them can be followed. The fact that so many drafts were kept is not the only exceptional characteristic of Wilhelmina's memoirs. Another is that the family and the events about which she wrote are well documented in other sources. This chapter explores the workings of the autobiographical memory especially regarding Wilhelmina's early childhood.

Keywords: autobiographical memory; childhood memoirs; historical source; Prussia; Wilhelmina; woman



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