Literary Cultures and Medieval and Early Modern Childhoods

  • Naomi J. Miller
  • Diane Purkiss

Part of the Literary Cultures and Childhoods book series (LICUCH)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxxviii
  2. Educating Children

  3. Performing Childhood

  4. Literatures of Childhood

  5. Legacies of Childhood

  6. Coda: Fictionalizing Literary Cultures for Children

  7. Back Matter
    Pages 377-394

About this book


Building on recent critical work, this volume offers a comprehensive consideration of the nature and forms of medieval and early modern childhoods, viewed through literary cultures. Its five groups of thematic essays range across a spectrum of disciplines, periods, and locations, from cultural anthropology and folklore to performance studies and the history of science, and from Anglo-Saxon burial sites to colonial America. Contributors include several renowned writers for children. The opening group of essays, Educating Children, explores what is perhaps the most powerful social engine for the shaping of a child. Performing Childhood addresses children at work and the role of play in the development of social imitation and learning. Literatures of Childhood examines texts written for children that reveal alternative conceptions of parent/child relations. In Legacies of Childhood, expressions of grief at the loss of a child offer a window into the family’s conceptions and values. Finally, Fictionalizing Literary Cultures for Children considers the real, material child versus the fantasy of the child as a subject.


Performance Education Shakespeare Jonson Advisory LIterature Children in literature Early modern literature Medieval literature Childhood in literature Early modern childhood Medieval childhood

Editors and affiliations

  • Naomi J. Miller
    • 1
  • Diane Purkiss
    • 2
  1. 1.Smith CollegeNorthamptonUSA
  2. 2.Keble CollegeUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK

Bibliographic information