Presentation on theme: "EDU12HCL - History of Children’s Literature Week 5 – Lecture 1 The Affecting and Instructive History of Chapbooks for Children as developed particularly."— Presentation transcript:
Defining Children’s Literature For there to be Children’s Literature, there must be: Children Literature Children – the concept of childhood, the recognition that children have needs, interests and capacities that are different to adults Literature – the conscious creation of literary material specifically for those needs, interests and capacities.
References Townsend, J.R. (1996) Written for Children: an outline of English-Language Children’s Literature. 6 th ed. London: Scarecrow Press. (“Part One: before 1840”) Jackson, M. (1989) Engines of Instruction, Mischief and Magic: children’s literature in England from its beginnings to Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press Shavir, Z. (1986) Stratification of a system. The poetics of Children’s Literature [online] Chap. 7. Available: University of Pittsburgh (2005) The Elizabeth Nesbitt Room Chapbook Collection [online] Available: / /
Printing Johannes Gutenberg 1456 (Germany), William Caxton (1475) Britain. By 1500 over 1,000 printers in Europe. Movable type – first wood, then lead Set into plates, inked and repeated over sheet after sheet of paper
Printing Paper and sizes – Folio, quarto, folding into units that determined the number of pages Type and layout reversed to mirror image Illustrations done as woodcuts (in reverse) Could print up to 250 units an hour Little change in this process into modern times.
Chapbooks, broadsheets and pamphlets Chapman – itinerant salesman, merchant, buyer/seller From OE ceap, ceapian related to German kaufen – buying, bargaining, trade Developed into Cheap, chap, and UK place names Cheapside, Chepstow, Chipping Chapmen were peddlers, tinkers, travellers – sold small portable items, thread, needles, houseware, and books, broadsheets and pamphlets 1600s-1700s immensely popular market in ballad sheets, confessions of criminals, political pamphlets, stories, biographies etc. that were hawked around the streets and towns
Chapbooks, broadsheets and pamphlets Chapbooks were simply cheaply and quickly produced books for the popular market, and they sold very very, well. Read eagerly by adults and children. Inexpensive, small, attractive. One page folded many times and cut. Woodcut illustrations. The popularity of these books attracted the attention of more serious publishers and writers The popularity also raised the question of “appropriate for children?”.
John Newbery The first successful commercial publisher for children Son of a farmer Became owner of a printing business in his 20s by marrying the widow of the previous owner Moved to London 1743, Published A Little Pretty Pocket Book in 1744 Aimed at newly prosperous middle class and their values
John Newbery Recognized several important commercial points: Must appeal to the child But do not contradict the values of the parent Included giveaways and special offers – e.g. ball, pincushion, free editions from his shop – with apparent educational or benevolent purpose Constant and regular “penetration” of the market – build expectations of audience, and brand loyalty Have pictures
John Newbery Also sold patent medicines – Dr James Fever Powder – and used the books to promote it Mixed the audiences and “hooks” astutely – adventure and fantasy to interest the children, morals and education to please the parents Established and kept reputation for enthusiasm and best interests of children Mixed with leading literary figures USA’s Children’s Book of the Year award is the Newbery Medal
Goody Two Shoes
Typical mixture of fantastic adventure and moral lessons Bit of “Shrek”-like tongue in cheek attribution – See the original manuscript in the Vatican at Rome, and the cuts by Michael Angelo Story drew on Cinderella (prohibited for a time) and was adapted by other authors, even for adults
Illustrations Simple woodcuts Usually middle-distance representations, eye level perspective, side elevation Newbery’s use of illustrations was so popular that they were established as an indispensable feature of children’s books. Led to the great 19 th century children’s artists: Walter Crane, Kate Greenaway, Randolph Caldecott, Beatrix Potter