Children and Childhood in Western Society Since 1500: Edition 2

Routledge
Free sample

This book investigates the relationship between ideas about childhood and the actual experience of being a child, and assesses how it has changed over the span of five hundred years. Hugh Cunningham tells an engaging story of the development of ideas about childhood from the Renaissance to the present, taking in Locke, Rosseau, Wordsworth and Freud, revealing considerable differences in the way western societites have understood and valued childhood over time. His survey of parent/child relationships uncovers evidence of parental love, care and, in the frequent cases of child death, grief throughout the period, concluding that there was as much continuity as change in the actual relations of children and adults across these five centuries.

For undergraduate courses in History of the Family, European Social History, History of Children and Gender History.

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About the author

Hugh Cunningham is Emeritus Professor of Social History at the University of Kent.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Routledge
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Published on
Jul 10, 2014
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Pages
256
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ISBN
9781317868033
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Europe / General
History / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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The Invention of Childhood will paint a vivid picture of the lives of children in Britain from pagan Anglo-Saxon times to the present day. Drawing heavily on primary sources, such as diaries, autobiographies, paintings, photographs and letters, the book will present a complete chronological history of the experience of children in Britain during the past 1500 years. We will learn the key elements that have shaped their lives down the ages and how this has differed as a result of gender, geography and ethnicity. The book will also relate children's lives to larger events in national and international history. Written by Hugh Cunningham the Professor of History at the Universtity of Kent at Canterbury, and an expert on childhood history - the book will accompany the Radio 4 series presented by the highly respected children's author Michael Morpurgo. Michael is contributing a lengthy foreword to the book. 'The Invention of Childhood' will expand on a number of key themes from the radio series, including the idea of childhood as a distinct stage of life. Opinions on when childhood should start and end, and how it differs from adulthood have changed considerably down the centuries. And these inventions and reinventions of childhood (hence the title) have had a profound effect on children's lives. The prolonged childhood we enjoy in Britain today was a luxury few could afford in the past. This fascinating study will draw attention to the ways in which we may find childhood and children in the past quite similar to the present and to ways in which childrens lives from the past seem to differ sharply from the lives children lead today.
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The Invention of Childhood will paint a vivid picture of the lives of children in Britain from pagan Anglo-Saxon times to the present day. Drawing heavily on primary sources, such as diaries, autobiographies, paintings, photographs and letters, the book will present a complete chronological history of the experience of children in Britain during the past 1500 years. We will learn the key elements that have shaped their lives down the ages and how this has differed as a result of gender, geography and ethnicity. The book will also relate children's lives to larger events in national and international history. Written by Hugh Cunningham the Professor of History at the Universtity of Kent at Canterbury, and an expert on childhood history - the book will accompany the Radio 4 series presented by the highly respected children's author Michael Morpurgo. Michael is contributing a lengthy foreword to the book. 'The Invention of Childhood' will expand on a number of key themes from the radio series, including the idea of childhood as a distinct stage of life. Opinions on when childhood should start and end, and how it differs from adulthood have changed considerably down the centuries. And these inventions and reinventions of childhood (hence the title) have had a profound effect on children's lives. The prolonged childhood we enjoy in Britain today was a luxury few could afford in the past. This fascinating study will draw attention to the ways in which we may find childhood and children in the past quite similar to the present and to ways in which childrens lives from the past seem to differ sharply from the lives children lead today.
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