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THE 18TH AND EARLY 19TH CENTURIES

[1700 - 1830]
JOHN NEWBERY AND CHILDREN’S BOOK PUBLISHING

 The serious publishing of children’s books began notably by John Newbery (1713-1778), a clever English bookseller. Newbery first
successfully promoted children’s literature.
 His books were largely collections of stories and poems with crude woodblock illustrations by various (usually anonymous) writers
(including himself)
 A Little Pretty Pocket Book (1744): one of the first published children’s books designed particularly to entertain children as well as to teach
them.
 Rousseau and the Moral Tale
 Rousseau expressed his ideas about education in Emile (1762), in which he emphasized the importance of moral development that could
be best accomplished through living a simple life.
 Rousseau’s followers wrote didactic and moralistic books to teach children how to be good and proper human beings.
 Most writers of children’s moralistic tales were women because children’s writing was considered inferior to adult writing by men (see more
information on Moralistic Tales). For example, The Purple Jar” (1796) by Maria Edgeworth.
THE REVIVAL OF OLD FOLKTALES

 The didactic element in children’s books persisted through the early 19th century, but the old folktales from oral tradition revived during this time.
 Tales of Mother Goose, originally retold and published by the Frenchman Charles Parrault (1697) and then translated and published in
English in 1729. The retellings, including Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, and Sleeping Beauty, soon became staples in English nurseries
(see more information on Mother Goose Origins, Selected Poetry of Mother Goose in the 18th century, Charles Perrault's Mother Goose
Tales,pictures from Charles Perrault's Mother Goose Tales). These stories were usually retold for a moral purpose.
THE REVIVAL OF OLD FOLKTALES

 The didactic element in children’s books persisted through the early 19th century, but the old folktales from oral tradition revived during this time.

 Tales from the Arabian Nights, published by Elizabeth Newbery (1791), the first children’s edition of the Middle Eastern tales, featuring
Sinbad the Sailor and Aladdin and his lamp (see Tales from the Arabian Nights 1888 by Sir Richard Burton, Arabian Nights from Candlelight
THE REVIVAL OF OLD FOLKTALES

 The didactic element in children’s books persisted through the early 19th century, but the old folktales from oral tradition revived during this time.
 Hans Christian Anderson’s Fairy Tales (1835, Denmark), considered the first book containing modern fairy tales (i.e. all the fairy tales
created and written, but not collected, by Anderson).
THE REVIVAL OF OLD FOLKTALES

 .
 Hans Christian Anderson’s Fairy Tales (1835, Denmark), considered the first book containing modern fairy tales (i.e. all the fairy tales
created and written, but not collected, by Anderson).
THE REVIVAL OF OLD FOLKTALES

 Joseph Jacobs’ English Fairy Tales (1894, England)

 Some adults felt them unsuitable for children as they contained adult themes, alarming frankness and violence, lack of moral messages
THE VICTORIANS: THE GOLDEN AGE

1830-1900
 During the reign of Queen Victoria (1837-1901) children's literature first blossomed.
Excellent writers and illustrators were committed to writing entertaining stories for children, as
opposed to morality tales.
 This phenomenon was influenced by the strengthening of the family unit, the rapid development
of full-color printing technology, the inexorable rise of the status of women, the growth of
educational opportunities, and the continued growth of the middle class.
 Fantasy Stories
 Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) by Lewis Carroll (i.e., Charles Dodgson): This book is an extraordinary fantasy filled with a
delightful mixture of satire and nonsense and almost devoid of instructional moralizing (the first work for children that completely broke the
bonds of didacticism), beginning a new era in children’s literature.
 Other outstanding Victorian fantasists:
 The Princess and the Goblin (1872) by George MacDonald (England) – a literary fairy tale with Princess Irene as the heroine.
 The Adventures of Pinocchio (1883) by Carlo Collodi’s (Italy) – the most famous puppet story.
 The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900) by Frank Baum (U.S.) – the first classic U.S. modern fantasy.
 The Tale of Peter Rabbit (1901) by Beatrix Potter (England) – early important modern picture storybook in English; a book of talking
animal tales that have set a high standard for children’s illustrated books.
 Peter Pan (1904) by J. M. Barrie (England) – originally a play and then adapted to a prose story.
 The Wind in the Willows (1908) by Kenneth Grahame (England) – an animal fantasy and an episodic adventure work.
 Adventure Stories (for boys)
 Treasure Island (1883) by Robert Louis Stevenson (U.K.)
 The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn(1884) by Mark Twain (U.S.)
 Domestic Stories (for girls)
 Tales of home and family life focusing on the activities of a virtuous heroine, usually coming from difficulties and achieving good fortune and
ultimate happiness in the person of a handsome young man
 Little Women (1868) by Louisa May Alcott (U.S.)
 Anne of Green Gables (1908) by Lucy Maud Montgomery (Canda)
 The Secret Garden (1911) by Frances Hodgson Burnett (U.S.)
 Children's Book Illustration
 Books of the 18th century and earlier either lacked illustrations altogether or contained crude woodblock illustration, because serious artists
did not draw for children's books.
 At the end of the 19th century, changes in publishing and printing attracted great illustrators.
 By the end of the 19th century, stunningly illustrated children's books were available at reasonable prices.
THE TWENTIETH CENTURY: WIDENING WORLDS

[1900 - the Present]


 Children’s literature began to flourish on a variety of fronts. The theme is the focus on children
themselves and the didactic tone no longer succeeded in this new child-centered environment.
The last half of the 20th century is often viewed as a “Second Golden Age” of children’s writing.
 Fantasy stories and realistic fiction have been popular. Some of the
most notable fantasy writers emerged during this time. Important works
include:
 - Winnie-the-Pooh (1926) by A. A. Milne (U.K.) – early classic personified
toy animal story
 - Little House in the Big Woods (1932) by Laura Ingalls Wilder (U.S.) –
classic historical fiction based on the author’s childhood and young adult
experiences on the American frontier
 - The Hobbit (1937) by J. R. R. Tolkien (U.K.) – early quest adventure
featuring dramatic battles, fanciful creatures, and real dangers
 - The Little Prince (1943) by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (France) – the
most notable French fantasy
 - The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950) by C.S. Lewis (U.K.) –
early classic quest adventure for children
 - Charlotte’s Web (1952) by E. B. White (U.S.) – classic U.S. animal
fantasy
 - A Wrinkle in Time (1962) by Madeleine L’Engle (U.S.) – classic U.S.
science fiction novel for children
 - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (1998) by J. K. Rowling (U.K.) –
first book in the best-selling quest fantasy series
 Numerous children’s book awards were
established. Among them, the most important four
awards are:
 - In the U.S.,
 Newbery Medal (began in 1922): the most
distinguished children’s book published in the
previous year in the U.S. Given to an author.
 Caldecott Medal (began in 1938): the most
distinguished children's picture book published in
the previous year in the U.S. Given to an illustrator.
 - In the U.K.,
 Carnegie Medal (began in 1936): the most
distinguished children's book published in the
previous year in the U.K. Given to an author.
 Kate Greenaway Medal (began in 1956): the most
distinguished children's picture book published in
the previous year in the U.K. Given to an illustrator.
 Social movements affecting children’s literature:
 - The collapse of totalitarian regimes: the
increasing importance of education as the
means of overcoming the ignorance and
prejudice.
 - The rise of “youth culture” influenced by Piaget
and Spock, concerning the development of the
child as an individual.
 - The rise of New Realism, characterized by a
franker and more open approach to subjects once
thought taboo in children’s books: sexuality,
violence, drugs, war, and so on.
 - The Civil Rights Movement in America: the
heroes came in all colors. A variety of world
cultures have been presented in children's books.
 - The feminist movement: the heroes
came in both genders. Children’s books
began to examine the roles of females
and to us heroines with forceful and
imaginative personalities, in contrast to
the delicate, retiring female characters of
earlier generations.
 - Political Correctness: eliminating all
language and practices that might be
politically offensive, usually related to
racial, gender, ethnic, or religious
matters.
 - The study of children’s
literature began in the last quarter of the
20the century, which helped to raise the
status of children's literature and