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Within the burgeoning field of the history of childhood this collection attempts to offer something unique. It seeks to contribute to our understanding of the lived experience of children across the British world from the mid-18th to the mid-20th century and considers the construction of childhood within a global network of empire.
Michelle M. Strong has produced a very detailed analysis of educational tours by working-class travellers in the last four decades of the 19th century. The book consists of five chapters, four of which discuss travel to the Paris exhibitions of the second half of the 19th century, in 1861, 1867, 1878 and 1889 and to the Vienna exhibition in 1873.
Empire’s Children is far from the now well-worn tale of imperial decline. It locates the shifting fortunes of the child emigration movement at the heart of the reconfiguration of identities, political economies, and nationalisms in Britain, Canada, Australia, and Rhodesia.
In today’s society in which risk is seen as a negative in so many circumstances, it is easy to conclude the children have much less freedom than in the past. It is also easy to idealise a past in which children were more free and risks were much fewer.
Asked to call to mind images of children and war in Britain, and the most ready association is that of children living through the ordeal of bombing and evacuation in the Second World War. The Children’s War, Britain 1914–1918 re-directs our attention to the lives of British children in the Great War.
Gemma Allen’s well-conceived and meticulously researched first book explores the ways in which themes of education, piety and politics interacted and impacted on the lives of the Cooke sisters in late 16th-century England.
Sometime, around the middle of the 20th century, the British began to think differently about the well-being of children. Where anxieties had once dwelt on malnourished and disease-ridden bodies, they now shifted to contemplate the civilizational consequences of young disordered minds.
Tamson Pietsch is a lecturer in Imperial and Colonial History at Brunel University, London. Her own academic pathway from Australia to Oxford mirrors that of her predecessors who feature in this study of the ‘Empire of Scholars’. We need to know more, she argues, about who made knowledge in the Empire and the social and intellectual context which informed that knowledge.
Socialising the child explores the role of the household and school in socialising the children of the gentry and the middle ranks of urban society between 1400 and 1600, outlining how childhood was imagined by writers and educators, and how it was presented to child and adult readers in the 15th and 16th centuries.
This book is both timely and long overdue. Timely because it is published after a period of surprisingly intense national debate over the place of history in the school curriculum and in the midst of a government review of the national curriculum partly prompted by that debate.