Shedding light on an important and neglected topic in childhood studies, Anja Müller interrogates how different concepts of childhood proliferated and were construed in several important eighteenth-century periodicals and satirical prints. Müller focuses on The Tatler, The Spectator, The Guardian, The Female Tatler, and The Female Spectator, arguing that these periodicals contributed significantly to the construction, development, and popularization of childhood concepts that provided the basis for later ideas such as the 'Romantic child'. Informed by the theoretical concept of 'framing', by which certain concepts of childhood are accepted as legitimate while others are excluded, Framing Childhood analyses the textual and graphic constructions of the child's body, educational debates, how the shift from genealogical to affective bonding affected conceptions of parent-child relations, and how prints employed child figures as focalizers in their representations of public scenes. In examining links between text and image, Müller uncovers the role these media played in the genealogy of childhood before the 1790s, offering a re-visioning of the myth that situates the origin of childhood in late eighteenth-century England.
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