The Making of the Modern Child: Children's Literature in the Late Eighteenth Century, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Making of the Modern Child

Children's Literature in the Late Eighteenth Century, 1st Edition

By Andrew O'Malley


202 pages

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This book explores how the concept of childhood in the late 18th century was constructed through the ideological work performed by children's literature, as well as pedagogical writing and medical literature of the era. Andrew O'Malley ties the evolution of the idea of "the child" to the growth of the middle class, which used the figure of the child as a symbol in its various calls for social reform.


"I would cetainly recommend this work to anyone interested in the history of childhood and its literatures. The scholarship is exemplary, and I was constantly discovering things that I should have known but did not. The theory is sound and not so obstrusive as to detract from the analysis it supports, and what the argument lacks in scope it makes up for in detail." --John Morgenstern, Mount Saint Vincent University, Canada

Table of Contents

Introduction: The English Middle Classes of the Late Eighteenth Century and the Impetus for Pedagogical Reform 1. The Coach and Six: Chapbook Residue in Late Eighteenth-Century Children's Literature 2. Class Relations in Middle-Class Children's Literature: Interacting with and Representing the Poor and the Rich 3. The Medical Management of the Late Eighteenth-Century Child 4. Towards the Self-Regulating Subject: Teaching Discipline in Pedagogical Systems and Children's Books 5. Molding the Middle-Class Subject of the Future: Applied Lessons and the Construction of Gender Roles Conclusion: he Trajectory of Children's Literature into the Early Nineteenth Century: Moving Towards a Middle-Class Form of Fantasy Notes Works Cited

About the Series

Children's Literature and Culture

Founding Editor and Series Editor 1994-2011: Jack Zipes

Series Editor, 2011-2018: Philip Nel


Founded by Jack Zipes in 1994, Children's Literature and Culture is the longest-running series devoted to the study of children’s literature and culture from a national and international perspective. Dedicated to promoting original research in children’s literature and children’s culture, in 2011 the series expanded its focus to include childhood studies, and it seeks to explore the legal, historical, and philosophical conditions of different childhoods. An advocate for scholarship from around the globe, the series recognizes innovation and encourages interdisciplinarity. Children's Literature and Culture offers cutting-edge, upper-level scholarly studies and edited collections considering topics such as gender, race, picturebooks, childhood, nation, religion, technology, and many others. Titles are characterized by dynamic interventions into established subjects and innovative studies on emerging topics.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LITERARY CRITICISM / Children's Literature