Children's Books in England: Five Centuries of Social Life by Frederick Joseph Harvey Darton
From fables to fairy tales, romances to nursery rhymes, this highly influential 1932 study analyses the evolution of children's literature. Publisher and writer F. J. Harvey Darton (1878-1936) draws upon his family's involvement in children's publishing since the late eighteenth century, his knowledge of medieval literature, and his own extensive collection of children's books to present the first account of English children's literature seen as a continuous whole. Setting children's books in their historical context, the work reflects much about the history of English social life as well as providing an in-depth perspective on the genre - in the author's words 'a chronicle of the English people in their capacity of parents, guardians and educators of children'. A classic and authoritative study for anyone interested in the history of children's literature, Darton's book remains an invaluable source of information on the genre.