FROM INSTRUCTION TO DELIGHT: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CHILDREN'S LITERATURE TO 1850
Edited by Patricia Demers and Gordon Moyles.
Volume 10 Number 4.
Professors Demers and Moyles, both of whom teach in the English department of the University of Alberta, have compiled a useful anthology for students of the history of children's literature. Included are examples of writings produced for children from medieval books of courtesy through the Sunday school tracts of mid-nineteenth century. The editors have grouped their selections according to the attitudes and motivations of the authors— "Rational Moralists," "Sunday School Moralists," and "Harbingers of the Golden Age," for example. Each section is introduced by a brief incisive essay placing the writers in historical context. While most selections are from British and American writers, Canadians are represented by an excerpt from Catharine Parr Traill's The Young Emigrants (in the "Rational Moralists" section). Each selection is long enough to give a feeling for the quality and tone of the work, and many are accompanied by some of their original illustrations. Much of the material is difficult to find elsewhere, although a few selections will be familiar to most readers. There are some disappointments. Why, for example is Maria Edgeworth represented by "The Purple Jar," the only one of her stories that has been widely reprinted elsewhere? These quibbles, however, do not take away from the value of this attractive and well-edited book that increases our understanding of the roots of English language literature for children.
Adele M. Fasick, Faculty of Library Science, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON.
1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995
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