Collective motherliness in Spain: Reception and Reformulation of Ellen Key’s ideas (1907–1936)


Ellen Key
Carmen de Burgos
Federica Montseny

How to Cite

Lindholm, Elena. 2019. “Collective Motherliness in Spain: Reception and Reformulation of Ellen Key’s Ideas (1907–1936)”. Bergen Language and Linguistics Studies 10 (1), 11.


During the early 1900s, Ellen Key's ideas about pedagogy, feminism and child rearing were influential around Europe. The same was true of Spain, although Key herself never visited the country. This article examines how Key's concept of collective motherliness was received and reformulated by Spanish intellectuals from two different generations: the first during the first two decades of the 20th century (1907-1920) and the second during the third and fourth decades (1920-1936). The focus is on works by two authors, each representing their generation of interpreters of Ellen Key: Carmen de Burgos (1867–1932) and Federica Montseny (1905–1994). The interpretation of these authors' texts in the light of Ellen Key's ideas of collective motherliness shows the reception and reformulation of these ideas in Spain changed between the two generations. The first focused more on collective values, such as women's education and patriarchal oppression in society, while the second generation focused more on individual aspects, such as free love and personal development.

Copyright (c) 2019 Elena Lindholm

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