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|Title: ||Attitudes to childhood in eighteenth-century writings|
|Authors: ||Brooks, Stella Rosemary|
|Issue Date: ||1997|
|Publisher: ||© Stella Rosemary Brooks|
|Abstract: ||This thesis explores attitudes towards childhood in the eighteenth
century, by examining the ways childhood is represented in texts
from a range of genres. The study begins with a brief survey of
works produced before the eighteenth century, which have a bearing
on those in the main part of the thesis, Those that follow were
produced at various times throughout the century.
The poetry is subjected to close formal analysis; all texts are
examined in the light of the circumstances of their production.
The work is divided into five parts, which are in turn
subdivided into chapters, most of which deal with individual authors
or works. The main divisions group together pre-eighteenth-century
works; those with a moralising tendency, arising from religious
beliefs; secular works that embody attitudes towards the education
and care of children; works that look back regretfully to childhood;
and those that regard childhood as holding a key to adult life.
In most of these writings, childhood is seen only as a time of
preparation for adulthood; education is taken to be important, but
relatively little attention is paid to the immediate needs and
interests of the child. When childhood is valued, it is seen either
as a happy, but deluded state, or as worthy of retrieval by the
adult. Attitudes are diverse, and can be related to the socioeconomic,
circumstances of those who hold them. There seems to have
been little significant change through the century.
By examining a variety of written genres across the entire
century, the thesis identifies a wider range of attitudes than is
usually evident in more narrowly-based studies. Common elements are
identified in different types of text, and at different periods.
The extent to which attitudes changed over the period can be
assessed, The formal analysis of texts provides evidence of a
different order from that identified by historians and sociologists.|
|Description: ||A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University. If you are the author of this thesis and would like to make it openly available in the Institutional Repository please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Version: ||Closed access|
|Appears in Collections:||Closed Access PhD Theses (English and Drama)|
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