Fashioning Childhood in the Eighteenth Century: Age and Identity

1st Edition

Anja Müller

Routledge
Published October 19, 2016
Reference - 260 Pages
ISBN 9781138263086 - CAT# Y314241
Series: Studies in Childhood, 1700 to the Present

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Summary

This innovative collection of essays re-examines conventional ideas of the history of childhood, exploring the child's increasing prominence in eighteenth-century discourse and the establishment of the category of age as a marker of social distinction alongside race, class and gender. While scholars often approach childhood within the context of a single nation, this collection takes a comparative approach, examining the child in British, German and French contexts and demonstrating the mutual influences between the Continent and Great Britain in the conceptualization of childhood. Covering a wide range of subjects, from scientific and educational discourses on the child and controversies over the child's legal status and leisure activities, to the child as artist and consumer, the essays shed light on well-known novels like Tristram Shandy and Tom Jones, as well as on less-familiar texts such as periodicals, medical writings, trial reports and schoolbooks. Articles on visual culture show how eighteenth-century discourses on childhood are reflected in representations of the child by illustrators and portraitists. The international group of contributors, including Peter Borsay, Patricia Crown, Bernadette Fort, Brigitte Glaser, Klaus Peter Jochum, Dorothy Johnson and Peter Sabor, represent the disciplines of history, literature and art and reflect the collection's commitment to interdisciplinarity. The volume's unique range of topics makes it essential reading for students and scholars concerned with the history and representation of childhood in eighteenth-century culture.

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