In the post-Napoleonic era Unitarians still believed that their version of a liberal education would enable them to fulfil their rational, religious and political aims. Their educational aims in turn were quickened by their pride in the mercantile , industrial and professional middle class. This was superbly illustrated in novels like Deerbrook and North and South by Harriet Martineau and Eliza­ beth Gaskell respectively, where the heroes were the epitome of middle-class provincials , new types of 'gentlemen' , honest, upright, scorning feudal 'barbaric' codes of honour. The heroines, likewise , were self-reliant, courageous, intelligent and courteous. 1 They had command over themselves which gave them some control over their lives. Unitarians were deeply convinced that knowledge was power: what knowledge they sought for middle-class children, where they sought it, how they provided it and how far it differed for boys and girls are the questions explored in this chapter.