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The Child in Early Chinese Social Hierarchy: The Biography of Li Shan

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The society of early China was organized into a hierarchy where elders were generally deemed superior to and expected deference from their juniors, principles that also guided the relationship between men and women, parents and children, and nobles and commoners. This biography demonstrates the way in which a child's social status can sometimes carry more weight than his or her age in... Read More »

Title page image for The Chinese Boy and Girl

The Chinese Boy and Girl

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Issac Taylor Headland (1859-1942), a resident of Beijing and a scholar at Peking (Beijing) University, joined other contemporaries interested in both popular culture and folklore in his own study of daily life in China. He was particularly concerned with the collection and transcription of Chinese children's rhymes. Readings from his texts offer a look at a Westerner's own perspective on... Read More »

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THE CONVENTION IS WEAK

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The coup of Thermidor did not lead immediately to the dissolution of the Committee of Public Safety (CPS), although much of its power was quickly transferred to other committees, especially the Committee of General Security, and back to the Convention as a whole. This passage, from the memoirs of a member of the CPS after Thermidor, describes the committee’s efforts to continue to guide the... Read More »

Excerpt of Moll Flanders

The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders

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Daniel Defoe's novel The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders, published in 1722, is a useful historical text for examining the everyday lives of female children as well as the possibilities of girlhood in 18th-century British society. In many ways, Moll Flanders—the illegitimate daughter of a female felon—exemplifies the position of orphaned girls in early modern... Read More »

Logo of the International Children's Digital Library abstractly showing an open book with a children running across the cover

The International Children's Digital Library

Review
The International Children's Digital Library is a feast for children who are bookworms. It is also a treasure trove for teachers of reading, literature, science, social studies, and world cultures or geography. Scholarly researchers will find in its global collection a wealth of material for comparison, thematic exploration, historical studies of childhood and reading, and interdisciplinary studies of all kinds.
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The Red Shoes

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Folktales have been used for generations to teach moral tales to children. They have shifted over time depending upon the generation and location of the tale but remain part of the childhood experience for many young people. "The Red Shoes" published by Hans Christian Andersen in 1845 is a quintessential European folktale. It tells a moral tale based upon the idea of temptation and eventual... Read More »

The Russian Revolution: The Problem of Dictatorship

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In January 1988, dissidents in East Germany mounted a counter-demonstration during the annual parade honoring the lives of Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht. Luxemburg and Liebknecht were both killed by right-wing Freikorps vigilantes during the 1919 January revolution. The words that the protesters chose to display came from this 1918 essay written by Rosa Luxemburg critiquing Lenin and the... Read More »

The School Journal, 1907 - [Magazine]

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Although early issues of the School Journal drew extensively on a British literary heritage and reinforced imperial values, even in its first year of publication by the New Zealand Department of Education (1907), there were stories, articles and poetry authored locally and written about the colonial heritage and environment. That early creativity was submerged during and after World... Read More »

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The Scouts' War Dance: Sir Robert Baden Powell's adaptation of a Zulu chant

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Like much of the public in turn-of-the-century Britain, Baden Powell was fascinated by "primitive" cultures. Although he claimed an expert knowledge of Africa from his service in colonial wars, Baden Powell was hardly an authority on Zulu customs. This did not matter, because metropolitan Britons were almost entirely ignorant of African institutions. Nevertheless, they were fascinated by... Read More »

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The Story of the Stone

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Many adult voices advocated the need for a good moral upbringing as part of a rigorous education for children during the later Ming and Qing dynasties, an aspect seen in the primers that were repeatedly published during this period. Yet other realms of popular literature caught the attention of a broad class of educated elites. Here we also find rich descriptions of childhood that complicate a... Read More »

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