The Governess, or The Little Female Academy is a book about a boarding school run by Mrs Teachum. The story takes place over ten days, not including some initial background information, and an epilogue. On each day, except for the first, all or part of a text is read aloud to the students by Miss Jenny Peace. Afterward, one or more of the pupils is physically described, followed by the recording their life story. These are written as to appear to have been spoken by each respective girl, and recorded by Miss Jenny. Each session of reading is capped by an appearance from Mrs Teachum, who explains the lesson that should be taken from each experience. Much emphasis is given to the importance of reading and to reflecting on the reading. The plot of The Governess seems to be based largely upon the Lockean educational ideal of avoiding learning as work or a job, and instead presenting it as something to be enjoyed. To this effect, Fielding employs the use of fairy tales as well as everyday occurrences (receiving a letter, meeting strangers, touring fancy houses) to educate her pupils toward a living life full of happiness.