Frances Calderon de la Barca's two letters are extraordinary pieces of historical evidence. One details the revolution from unique perspectives both as a woman and a primary observer from the belly of the beast in Mexico City. The other is a description of female education in Mexico as it pertains to class differences. She also contrasts education systems elsewhere in the world and what that means for Mexican education. Frances Calderon de la Barca’s letters have a great deal of bias. She clearly favors a stronger education system for females. She is resentful that women stop their education at age 11 or 12 and even moreso that the custom is so widely accepted among people she speaks with. The education she describes does not teach these girls how to write proficiently. The Mexican girls are educated to a much lesser quality than that of British or American girls. Girls were pushed to excel in music or drawing. This must be because those skills are useful in parenting.
She notes of Mexican girls' inclinations that they are never awkward and are skilled at not coming off as ignorant. She criticized an editor's description of Mexican ladies for focusing primarily on their demeanor and physical appearance. His measurement of Mexican girls is superficial. She does not like this, or that so many families, especially in the upper class harbor and shelter their children. It is most important to these families that the ladies attend church rather than cultivate their higher faculties.
Frances Calderon de la Barca seems to view these conditions in Mexico as oppressive in a way. She recognizes the economic hierarchies that perpetuate that system. This says many things about Mexico at this time. One is that the country must have been in a weak state. It seems like the upper class was emulating the European aristocracy of old rather than moving forward.
Of the revolution, she condemned the methods of violence carried out by both sides. She observed that their...