From the blurb;
"In The Invention of Childhood Hugh Cunnigham presents a complete chronological history of childhood in Britain over the last 1000 years. Drawing extensively on primary sources, such as diaries, letters and interviews, he explores a hidden, domestic history of family secrets and personal stories that is often overlooked by historians. Factors such as gender and social class have certainly shaped the lives of children down the ages, but so too have major historical events, such as military conflicts, the Reformation, the rise of the British Empire and the Industrial Revolution.
Notions about when childhood starts and ends, and how it differs from adulthood, have changed considerably over centuries, and these "inventions" and "reinventions" of childhood have had a profound effect on the lives of young people. Although childhood has always been recognized as a distinct stage in life, the prolonged childhood we enjoy in Britain today was, until relatively recently, a luxury few could afford. This fascinating study highlights the many ways the live children in the past differed from those of youngsters today, but also looks at the often surprising similarities between modern childhood and the experience of previous generations.
The Invention of Childhood accompanies a major BBC Radio 4 series presented by the respected children`s writer and former Children`s Laureate, Michael Morpurgo, The Voices of Children, a new play by Michael Morpurgo written especially for inclusion in this book, allows the children of the past to speak to us across years."