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Children's Books in England: Five Centuries of Social Life

Children's Books in England: Five Centuries of Social Life

by Frederick Joseph Harvey Darton


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From fables to fairy tales, romances to nursery rhymes, this highly influential 1932 study analyses the evolution of children's literature. Publisher and writer F. J. Harvey Darton (1878–1936) draws upon his family's involvement in children's publishing since the late eighteenth century, his knowledge of medieval literature, and his own extensive collection of children's books to present the first account of English children's literature seen as a continuous whole. Setting children's books in their historical context, the work reflects much about the history of English social life as well as providing an in-depth perspective on the genre – in the author's words 'a chronicle of the English people in their capacity of parents, guardians and educators of children'. A classic and authoritative study for anyone interested in the history of children's literature, Darton's book remains an invaluable source of information on the genre.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781108033817
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 11/03/2011
Series: Cambridge Library Collection - Literary Studies Series
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 394
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.87(d)

Table of Contents

Preface; 1. An introductory survey; 2. The legacy of the middle ages: i. Fables; 3. The legacy of the middle ages: ii. Romance and manners; 4. The Puritans: 'Good godly books'; 5. The Pedlar's pack: 'The running stationers'; 6. Fairy-tale and nursery rhyme; 7. Interim: between the old and the new; 8. John Newbery; 9. The theorists: Thomas Day, the Edgeworths, and French influence; 10. The moral tale: i. Didactic; 11. The moral tale: ii. Persuasive, chiefly in verse; 12. Interim again: the dawn of levity; 13. Two New Englands: 'Peter Parley' and 'Felix Summerly'; 14. The Sixties, Alice and after; 15. The Eighties and to-day: freedom; Index.

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