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Children and Childhood in Western Society Since 1500
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Rating

a most elegant survey of ideas about childhood and of childrens lives in modern western society a stimulating yet accessible analysis of a part of human experience so difficult for the historian to uncover.

Lynn Abrams, Professor of Gender History, University of Glasgow

 

necessary reading for those seeking a fuller understanding of modern childhood.

John Stewart, Principal Lecturer in History, OxfordBrookesUniversity

Of the first edition:

an excellent and accessible starting point.

Anthony Fletcher, Universityof London

 

Any reader in search of a clear, well-written, and comprehensive account of the history of children and childhood could ask for nothing better.

Victor Slater, Department of History, LouisianaStateUniversity

 

 

Children and Childhood investigates the relationship between ideas about childhood and the actual experience of being a child, assessing how it has changed over a span of five hundred years. Hugh Cunningham tells an engaging story of the development of ideas about childhood from the Renaissance to the present, including Locke, Rousseau, Wordsworth and Freud, revealing considerable differences in the way western societies 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.

 

In this fully updated second edition of his definitive text, Cunningham incorporates the latest research findings and outlines recent changes in the field, substantially revising and adding to the account of childhood in the twentieth century. The book also now includes extended discussion of the history of cruelty to children, and of the lives of children who through orphanage, abandonment, homelessness or crime came under the care of the institutions set up by voluntary organisations or the state. A new plate section links images of children to ideas and policies about childhood.

The only book in English to bring the history ofchildhood up to the present, Children and Childhood is essential reading for those studying the history of childhood, as well as an excellent background for those involved in policy-making today or for anyone wanting a historical context for modern worries about childhood.

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

 

Product Details

Table of Contents

1. Introduction. 2. Children and Childhood in Ancient and Medieval Europe. 3. The Development of a Middle-class Ideology of Childhood, 1500-1900. 4. Family, Work and School, 1500-1900. 5. Children, Philanthropy and the State in Europe, 1500-1860. 6. Saving the Children, 1830-1920. 7. 'The Century of the Child?' Conclusion. Guide to Further Reading.

Promotional Information

How different is the lifestyle of children today from that 500 years ago? To what extent has the parent-child dynamic altered? Hugh Cunnigham investigates the diverse experiences of Western children throughout the centuries.

About the Author

Professor Hugh Cunningham is based at the University of Kent, Canterbury. His publications include "The Volunteer Force: A Social and Political History 1859-1908" (Croom 1975), "Leisure in the Industrial Revolution "(Croom 1980) and "The Children of the Poor: Representations of Childhood since the Seventeenth Century" (Blackwell, 1991). He is also the author of our recent title "The Challenge of Democracy."

Reviews

"'...a most elegant survey of ideas about childhood and of children's lives in modern western society! a stimulating yet accessible analysis of a part of human experience so difficult for the historian to uncover.'" Lynn Abrams, Professor of Gender History, University of Glasgow '!necessary reading for those seeking a fuller understanding of modern childhood.' John Stewart, Principal Lecturer in History, OxfordBrookesUniversity About the first edition: '!an excellent and accessible starting point.' Anthony Fletcher, Universityof London 'Any reader in search of a clear, well-written, and comprehensive account of the history of children and childhood could ask for nothing better.' Victor Slater, Department of History, LouisianaStateUniversity

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