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The Invention of Childhood



By: Hugh Cunningham(Author)

Language: English

Genre: Society, Politics & Philosophy

Publisher: BBC Books; First Edition edition (14 Sept. 2006)

Format: pdf doc docx mobi djvu epub ibooks (*An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.)

The original title of the book: The Invention of Childhood

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 Cunninghamthe 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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  • By Anna Peacock on 11 May 2015

    Just bought this for university, excellent book to give the basis theory of childhood. Essential reading for any xhildhood studies students. My only negative should be that when they are selling second hand books they should state that it has came from a smoking household

  • By G. lovett on 1 October 2009

    I was not sure whether I would be able to read this book from cover to cover. However, once picked up I could not put down. This book gives some fantastic insights into the historical concept of childhood, childhood games, play and how the child has been perceived by adults over the centuries. Highly recommended for those with an interest in childhood studies and illustrating how we have shaped many practices on historial ideas and ideologies or just for pure reading pleasure!

  • By Son of Nietzsche on 20 January 2009

    This text certainly provides a useful, introductory, outline of some of the threads in the emergence of the notion of childhood in British culture over the centuries, as well as highlighting the various constructions the concept has undergone to its present-day incarnation. The author's style is highly readable, punctuated with material from a variety of historical sources.The accompanying short play by Morpurgo, which serves as a summary of some of the themes of the main work, is of interest for its subservience to, and propagation of, the myth of 'progress' that is fed to the young.The most notable aspect of 'The Invention of Childhood' is perhaps that, as description (rather than critique), its tendency is to ignore the various actors/groups that have played a part in suborning the concept of 'childhood' for their own purposes, and the intentional or unwitting effect that this has had for the concept in contemporary culture.Hence, while a useful introduction for the general public (accustomed to viewing 'childhood' as some sort of natural, inevitable, status), readers are encouraged to take a more critical look at its political deployment, sharply detailed in such works as Phillipe Aries' classic Centuries of Childhood: A Social History of Family Life: A Social History of Family Life and Judith Levine's Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex; and should certainly read Tony Duvert's Good Sex Illustrated (Foreign Agents) (the latter title not being descriptive of the book's contents, but rather a parody/critique of the disinformation systematically targeted at young people).

  • By Rodney Jones on 8 June 2015

    A fascinating book charting attitudes to children and childhood from the Middle Ages onwards.Well written and authoratitive.

  • By Laura B on 8 November 2013

    Brilliant Book, easy to read and understand, Highly recommended. Use it for the Early Years Foundation Degree. It is good!

  • By Miss Emma Jackson on 14 March 2015

    This book covers all aspect of historical childhood, very interesting and a good read.

  • By Maxine Maguire on 25 October 2015

    Very helpful with college studies

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