In this wide-ranging and detailed book Alan Richardson addresses many issues in literary and educational history never before examined together. The result is an unprecedented study of how transformations in schooling and literacy in Britain between 1780 and 1832 helped shape the provision of literature as we now know it. In chapters focused on such topics as definitions of childhood, educational methods and institutions, children's literature, female education and publishing ventures aimed at working-class adults, Richardson demonstrates how literary genres, from fairy tales to epic poems, were enlisted in an ambitious programme for transforming social relations through reading and education. Romantic texts - including Wordsworth, Shelley, Blake and Yearsley - are reinterpreted in the light of the complex historical and social issues which inform them and which they in turn critically address.
Preface; Abbreviations; 1. Childhood, education, and power; 2. School time; 3. Children's literature and the work of culture; 4. Women, education, and the novel; 5. The pursuit of knowledge under difficulties; 6. Epilogue: Romanticism and the idea of literature; Notes; Index.
Binding: Hardback ISBN: 0521462762 Series: Cambridge Studies in Romanticism No. 8 Published: November 1994 Format: 345 pages; 236 x 158mm UK Price: £37.50