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Late Imperial China

Teaching

An exploration of primary sources on childhood in late imperial China (framed broadly as the Song through Qing dynasties, ca. 960-1911 CE) offers a window into lived experience and the diverse ways in which childhood itself could be imagined and articulated. As with other times and places, the historical record presents a variety of perspectives and different takes on childhood, providing a... Read More »

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Learning begins in the Womb: Fetal Instruction

Source

Han dynasty intellectuals such as Liu Xiang (c. 77-6 BCE) advocated "fetal instruction" [taijiao] as a means to influence the moral development of the child at the earliest possible opportunity. Fetal instruction demands that the pregnant mother take care in what she allows herself to see, eat, hear, and say, and requires her to be ritually correct in her deportment. This prescription was... Read More »

Legislation and Public Police Powers (1753)

Source

Louis–Adrien Le Paige was the leading theoretician of Parlementary claims against the crown in the 1750s. His Historical Letters on the Essential Functions of the Parlement (1753) traced the history of the parlements from what he claimed to be their medieval origins—assemblies held by Frankish warriors to elect kings. Criticizing what he perceived to be the inadequate attention being paid by... Read More »

Linguet, "Attack on the Nobility" from Annales politiques (1789)

Source

Simon–Henri Linguet was one of the most active and irascible old regime figures. Among his many careers, he was a lawyer (who was disbarred in 1775) and a journalist (who was forced to give up his newspaper and flee to England in 1776). Throughout his life, he remained both a resolute monarchist and an intemperate critic of the excesses of royal ministers, Parlementary magistrates, lawyers—... Read More »

Little Eva, The Flower of the South cover thumbnail image

Little Eva, The Flower of the South

Source

Published around 1853, Little Eva, The Flower of the South is an anonymously written children's story based on Eva, the enormously popular character in Harriet Beecher Stowe's anti-slavery novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852). Aiming to thwart the spread of anti-slavery sentiments in Stowe's best-seller proponents of slavery published "Anti-Tom" or "plantation novels." Unlike... Read More »

Comic with two figures in a raised bed

Little Nemo in Slumberland

Source

A young boy slumbers in his bed, ensconced in a non-descript, middle class bedroom. He is jarred awake to find his bed floating out his window and into space. So begins an episode of Winsor McCay's epic series, Little Nemo in Slumberland, which ran in American newspapers from 1905 until 1914. Featured on the cover of the New York Herald's Sunday supplement (and syndicated nationwide), the... Read More »

Little Women

Little Women, "Amy's Valley of Humiliation"

Source

Little Women is one of the most beloved works of American literature. Widely translated and read throughout the world, Alcott's story has inspired films, television programs, cartoons, dolls, and theatrical productions, as well as extensive critical commentary from scholars in literature, history, women's studies, and other fields. Although a work of fiction, the story is largely... Read More »

Little Women

Little Women, “The Valley of the Shadow”

Source

Little Women is one of the most beloved works of American literature. Widely translated and read throughout the world, Alcott's story has inspired films, television programs, cartoons, dolls, and theatrical productions, as well as extensive critical commentary from scholars in literature, history, women's studies, and other fields. Although a work of fiction, the story is largely... Read More »

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LOUIS XVIII TO CHARETTE

Source

The "Central Committee" organizing royalist efforts in 1795 was led by François–Athanése de Charette de la Contrie, a former nobleman. He had participated in the Vendéan uprising in 1793, with the goal of restoring to the throne the nearest living relative to the executed Louis XVI—his brother the Count of Provence who had already taken the name Louis XVIII. (For royalists, the son of Louis... Read More »

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Max und Moritz

Source

Written and illustrated by German painter and poet, Wilhelm Busch, Max und Moritz (1865) is a children's story written in doggerel verse and illustrated in a comic-like style about two unscrupulous boys who taunt adults with their sadistic pranks.

In this illustration, Max and Morris have already tricked the widow into cooking chickens they are now trying to snag by lowering a fishing... Read More »

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