CHILDREN'S BOOKS IN ENGLAND, FIVE CENTURIES OF SOCIAL LIFE.
(Children's Books). Darton, F.J. Harvey.
- New Castle, Delaware and London: Oak Knoll Press and The British Library, 1999.
- tall 8vo.
- cloth, dust jacket.
- 416 pages.
- ISBN 9781884718885 / 1884718884 / Order Nr. 53551
- Price: $50.00 other currencies
Third edition. "Not a collection of queer facts or antiquarian scripts" said Harvey Darton of his book when it was first published in 1932, but "a chronicle of the English people in their capacity of parents, guardians and educators of children." Certainly, literature was his central theme, but through it, he wove biography and the facts of social and commercial history. Now available again, this third (corrected) edition is at pains to provide a text that will sustain Darton's reputation for a new generation of readers. Brian Alderson has checked every detail in an effort to ensure that the work is accurate by the standards of modern scholarship and has added a number of biographical notes. In a supplementary chapter, he has filled out the discussion of children's books during the late Victorian and Edwardian periods which formed a natural end point to Darton's history, and more than sixty illustrations expand upon the text. All these changes have been made in an attempt to support the message of Darton's original work, that "children's books were always the scene of a battle between instruction and amusement, between restraint and freedom, between hesitant morality and spontaneous happiness."