Catalogue


Victorian childhoods /
Ginger S. Frost.
imprint
Westport, Conn. : Praeger, 2009.
description
xi, 192 p. : ill.
ISBN
0275989666 (alk. paper), 9780275989668 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Westport, Conn. : Praeger, 2009.
isbn
0275989666 (alk. paper)
9780275989668 (alk. paper)
contents note
Children and the family -- School days -- Child labor in Victorian Britain -- Victorian children at play -- "For God and country" : building the better boy (and girl) -- "Lost" boys and girls -- The Victorian expansion of childhood.
catalogue key
6720507
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2010-02-01:
Frost (Samford Univ.) has written a useful overview of British childhood in the 19th century that is a good starting point for undergraduates in the US, although the bibliography is limited. It is the fifth work in the "Victorian Life and Times" series, the goal of which is to provide authoritative works in "straightforward language" (p. x). Rather than a new analysis, Frost offers a synthetic interpretation of the experience of childhood, particularly by emphasizing the role of families. While Frost complicates her synthesis by noting, for example, how gender and class were important factors shaping every child's life, her goal appears to be to illustrate how Victorian childhood was significantly different from modern childhood in the US. One may quibble with the generalizations (both of modern US and Victorian childhood), but Frost offers explanations necessary for American readers. She seamlessly embeds details of the changing nature of suffrage, labor laws, and criminality, for example, into the text, guiding readers to understand how childhood was shaped by the larger historical context. While dependent on both primary and secondary sources, the work is deeply enriched by biographical and autobiographical accounts. Summing Up: Highly recommended. General and undergraduate libraries. R. J. Bates Berea College
Reviews
Review Quotes
". . . admirable book. . . Frost's book is warmly recommended to academic libraries." - Catholic Library World
"Dividing the book by aspects most common to children, infancy, school, work and play, Frost shows the wide range of experience that children experienced. She then considers the goals of adults in molding the character of the next generation, the fate of foundlings, the very poor, and disabled children and the, sometimes misguided, efforts of reformers. Over the century, she notices an increase in the marketing of toys and books for children of all economic strata and also more emphasis on public education. Frost gives a multi-faceted presentation of the subject, accessible to scholars and general readers alike." - Reference & Research Book News
"Frost (Samford Univ.) has written a useful overview of British childhood in the 19th century that is a good starting point for undergraduates in the US. . . the work is deeply enriched by biographical and autobiographical accounts. Summing Up: Highly recommended. General and undergraduate libraries." - Choice
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, February 2010
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
The experiences of children growing up in Britain during Victorian times are often misunderstood to be either idyllic or wretched. Yet, the reality was more wide-ranging than most imagine. Here, in colorful detail and with firsthand accounts, Frost paints a complete picture of Victorian childhood that illustrates both the difficulties and pleasures of growing up during this period. Differences of class, gender, region, and time varied the lives of children tremendously. Boys had more freedom than girls, while poor children had less schooling and longer working lives than their better-off peers. Yet some experiences were common to almost all children, including parental oversight, physical development, and age-based transitions. This compelling work concentrates on marking out the strands of life that both separated and united children throughout the Victorian period.
Long Description
The experiences of children growing up in Britain during Victorian times are often misunderstood to be either idyllic or wretched. Yet, the reality was more wide-ranging than most imagine. Here, in colorful detail and with firsthand accounts, Frost paints a complete picture of Victorian childhood that illustrates both the difficulties and pleasures of growing up during this period. Differences of class, gender, region, and time varied the lives of children tremendously. Boys had more freedom than girls, while poor children had less schooling and longer working lives than their better-off peers. Yet some experiences were common to almost all children, including parental oversight, physical development, and age-based transitions. This compelling work concentrates on marking out the strands of life that both separated and united children throughout the Victorian period. Most historians of Victorian children have concentrated on one class or gender or region, or have centered on arguments about how much better off children were by 1900 than 1830. Though this work touches on these themes, it covers all children and focuses on the experience of childhood rather than arguments about it. Many people hold myths about Victorian families. The happy myth is that childhood was simpler and happier in the past, and that families took care of each other and supported each other far more than in contemporary times. In contrast, the unhappy myth insists that childhood in the past was brutalfull of indifferent parents, high child mortality, and severe discipline at home and school. Both myths had elements of truth, but the reality was both more complex and more interesting. Here, the author uses memoirs and other writings of Victorian children themselves to challenge and refine those myths.
Long Description
The experiences of children growing up in Britain during Victorian times are often misunderstood to be either idyllic or wretched. Yet, the reality was more wide-ranging than most imagine. Here, in colorful detail and with firsthand accounts, Frost paints a complete picture of Victorian childhood that illustrates both the difficulties and pleasures of growing up during this period. Differences of class, gender, region, and time varied the lives of children tremendously. Boys had more freedom than girls, while poor children had less schooling and longer working lives than their better-off peers. Yet some experiences were common to almost all children, including parental oversight, physical development, and age-based transitions. This compelling work concentrates on marking out the strands of life that both separated and united children throughout the Victorian period. Most historians of Victorian children have concentrated on one class or gender or region, or have centered on arguments about how much better off children were by 1900 than 1830. Though this work touches on these themes, it covers all children and focuses on the experience of childhood rather than arguments about it. Many people hold myths about Victorian families. The happy myth is that childhood was "simpler" and happier in the past, and that families took care of each other and supported each other far more than in contemporary times. In contrast, the unhappy myth insists that childhood in the past was brutal--full of indifferent parents, high child mortality, and severe discipline at home and school. Both myths had elements of truth, but the reality was both more complex and more interesting. Here, the author uses memoirs and other writings of Victorian children themselves to challenge and refine those myths.
Bowker Data Service Summary
The experience of children growing up in Britain during Victorian times are often misunderstood to be either idyllic or wretched. This text paints a complete picture of Victorian childhood that illustrates both the difficulties and pleasures of growing up during this period.
Long Description
The experiences of children growing up in Britain during Victorian times are often misunderstood to be either idyllic or wretched. Yet, the reality was more wide-ranging than most imagine. Here, in colorful detail and with first-hand accounts, Frost paints a complete picture of Victorian childhood that illustrates both the difficulties and pleasures of growing up during this period. Differences of class, gender, region, and time varied the lives of children tremendously. Boys had more freedom than girls, while poor children had less schooling and longer working lives than their better-off peers. Yet some experiences were common to almost all children, including parental oversight, physical development, and age-based transitions. This compelling work concentrates on marking out the strands of life that both separated and united children throughout the Victorian period. Most historians of Victorian children have concentrated on one class or gender or region, or have centered on arguments about how much better off children were by 1900 than 1830. Though this work touches on these themes, it covers all children and focuses on the experience of childhood rather than arguments about it. Many people hold myths about Victorian families. The happy myth is that childhood was "simpler" and happier in the past, and that families took care of each other and supported each other far more than in contemporary times. In contrast, the unhappy myth insists that childhood in the past was brutal--full of indifferent parents, high child mortality, and severe discipline at home and school. Both myths had elements of truth, but the reality was both more complex and more interesting. Here, the author uses memoirs and other writings of Victorian children themselves to challenge and refine those myths.
Table of Contents
Series
Forward
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Children and the Family
School Days
Child Labor in Victorian Britain
Victorian Children at Play
For God and Country: Building the Better Boy (and Girl)
Lost Boys and Girls
The Victorian Expansion of Childhood
Conclusion
Notes
Bibliography
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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