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Children’s Play

  • Rudolf Dekker
Chapter
Part of the Early Modern History: Society and Culture book series

Abstract

Today, play is considered an important part of a child’s life. It seems therefore strange that Constantijn Huygens in his diary made only one reference to the subject, expressing his aversion when little Lodewijk played at being a soldier. Elsewhere he remarks in passing that he is glad his children would rather learn than play. Huygens is no exception. His contemporary, Dirck Jansz, wrote that his little son should put aside his games for more virtuous work. Silence and occasional negative remarks about play are typical in egodocuments of this period. English and American parents similarly rarely wrote about the games their children played.1 In the nineteenth century, the diarist, Willem de Clercq, is the first parent to mention his children’s games and toys with enthusiasm. This indicates a new attitude.

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Notes

  1. 4.
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Copyright information

© Uitgeverij Wereldbibliotheek BV 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rudolf Dekker
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of History and ArtErasmus University RotterdamThe Netherlands

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