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The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including those from the School of Psychological Sciences & Health - but also papers by researchers based within the Faculties of Science, Engineering, Humanities & Social Sciences, and from the Strathclyde Business School.

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Learning to laugh : children and being human in early modern thought

Fudge, Erica (2006) Learning to laugh : children and being human in early modern thought. In: Childhood and children's books in early modern europe, 1550 - 1800. Routledge, London and New York, pp. 19-39. ISBN 9780415803632

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Abstract

This volume of fourteen original essays written by historians and literary scholars explores childhood and children's books in Early Modern Europe, 1500-1800. The collection contributes towards repositioning childhood as a compelling presence in early modern imagination - a ready emblem of innocence, mischief and playfulness. The essays present a wide-ranging basis for reconceptualizing the development of a separate literature for children as central to evolving early modern concepts of human development and socialization. Topics covered include: constructs of literacy as revealed by the figure of "Goody Two Shoes"; notions of pedagogy and academic standards; a reception study of children's reading based on book purchases made by Rugby school boys in the late eighteenth century; an analysis of the first international bestseller for children, the Abbe Pluche's "Spectacle de la nature"; and the commodification of child performers in Jacobean comedies.