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From the Publisher“There is so much in this beautifully translated book which is a pleasure to devour, not least the carefully chosen images that abound throughout. The whole lays a superb path into the diverse world of the Enlightenment.”
Ruth Watts, University of Birmingham. In: History of Education, Vol. 42, No. 2 (2013), pp. 289-291.
Child of the Enlightenment is a good read and provides a richly personalized history of a Dutch Enlightened education [...]. The original approach [...] makes it come to life so vividly that the epilogie of the book is very moving.
Sanne Parlevliet, Paedagogica Historica, Vol. 48 (2012), p. 1-4
Arianne Baggerman and Rudolf Dekker's Child of the Enlightenment is a significant contribution to the already substantial literature on ego-documents in the early-modern world. [...]
Baggerman and Dekker's work makes clear that the eighteenth-century discovery of childhood as a distinct stage of life was connected to the incalculation of discipline in the Enlightenment's name. [...] Baggerman and Dekker have provided a valuable service. The book is highly recommended.
Michael Sauter, European History Quarterly, Vol. 42 No. 3 (2012), p. 494-496
Child of the Enlightenment is a wonderful, fascinating book, a valuable and complex achievement at the intersection of a number of different historical fields. It contributes to our understanding of the Enlightenment as an intellectual movement which “real” people embodied and enacted – a “hybrid” Enlightenment full of diversity, complications and ironies. It is a social history of Europe in a period of profound transformation [...]. And it is a gripping political history of the first tumultuous years of revolution in the Netherlands in the 1790s, all from the initial perspective a child—and moving far beyond.
John Cornell, H-France Review, Vol. 12 (2012) p. 3-4
This is a book that is indispensable to scholars of diverse historical topics and countries. It shows the application of Enlightenment principles in home, culture, and politics and thus enriches scholars’ understanding of the long 18th century. It is indispensable for anyone interested in the development of pedagogy, the values inculcated in elite child-rearing, and family life, but also the dissemination of political rhetoric across generations, changing conceptions of nature, time, space and religion. In fact it is exemplary in revealing how ideas and practice interweave. [...] a superb book.
Joanne Bailey, Reviews in History, Review No. 1264
A remarkable story...; …a valuable contribution not just to Dutch but also to European historiography—that is, required reading for social, medical, and political historians.
Margaret C. Jacob, The Journal of Modern History, Vol. 83 (2011) No. 2, p. 396-398
Altogether, this is a delightful book. …. Gracefully written and scrupulously documented, this imaginitative study offers much of interest both to specialists in related historical fields and to more general readers.
Joyce Senders Pedersen, The European Legacy, Vol. 16 (2011) No. 4, p. 563-564
Ingesamt is das Buch ein Opus Magnum geworden, und es bleibt zu wünschen, dass es Nachahmung findet.
Pia Schmidt, BIOS Vol. 24 (2011), p. 157-163
[...] a book that brings together social history, political history, the history of ideas, and the history of reading in an intelligent and admirably creative way.
Dorothee Sturkenboom, The Journal of Social History, Vol. 45, No. 1 (Fall 2011), p. 559-560
The story …in Baggerman and Dekkers’ insightful and poignant retelling, brings into focus the paradoxes of Enlightenment and the limitations of enlightened programs for educational and political reform. This ‘exciting book’ deserves a wide audience.
Adriana S. Benzaquén, Journal of the History of Behavorial Sciences, Vol. 47 (2011) No. 1 (Winter), p. 109-111
Child of the Enlightenment rests on the author's expert knowledge of daily events in 1780s and 1790s Netherlands and adjacent cultures. Its dense and telling prose, translated into graceful English by Diane Webb, is a delight to read, and its 164 illustrations give real world images for the historical concepts discussed.
Ruth B. Bottigheimer, SHARP News Vol. 20 (2011), No. 2, p. 5-6
All in all, the book impresses with the broad range of its interests, and its sure touch with even the most arcane topic.
Colin Heywood, French History, Vol. 24 (2010), p. 306-307
A biography that breaks with the rules of the genre. The story…is fascinating, dramatic, and ultimately provides a sad commentary on human nature.
Julia Douthwaite, Biography. An Interdisciplinary Quarterly, Vol. 33 (2010) No. 2, p. 403-405
Child of the Enlightenment is an extremely impressive achievement…
Mark Towsey, Dutch Crossing Vol. 34 (2010) No. 3 (November), p. 278-279
Le jeune Otto nous livre un témoignage particulièrement passionant […]; nous disposons là d’une étude riche sur la réception des modèles pédagogiques au temps des Lumières.
Dominique Julia, Annales, Histoire, Sciences Sociales, Vol. 65 (2010), p. 1556-1558
[...] [L]e livre est incontournable, d'autant plus qu'il est remarquablement écrit'.
Annie Jourdan, Annales historiques de la Révoltion françaiseno, Vol. 358 (2010), p. 218-220
Through their engagement with Otto’s dairy, Baggerman and Dekker have produced a detailed, nuanced and highly original account of the Enlightenment, ‘constructed, for a change, from the bottom up’.
Neil Cocks, (University of Reading) The British Society for Literature and Science
The authors [...] provide an excellent panoramic overview of Otto's world and education. Drawing on a wide diversity of sources, including international and Dutch authors, pedagogical treatises and manuals, medical manuals, novels, family histories, encyclopedias, travelogues, and maps, Baggerman and Dekker carefully recreate the world in which Otto lived.
Benjamin Roberts, American Historical Review, Vol 115, No. 2 (April 2010), p. 626-627