Scenes from small worlds : the child, the family and society in selected children's periodicals of the 1870s
This thesis examines a selection of popular literature for middle-class children written during the 1870s, a period when new genres of secular magazines provided entertaining alternatives to outmoded moralistic journals and cheap, sensational papers. The stories printed in Aunt Judy's Magazine, Chatterbox, Good Words for the Young, Little Folks and Sunshine purveyed orthodox attitudes to children, the family, and society which were designed to explain and justify to the rising generation the beliefs and values that sustained the prevailing social order. Contemporary journal articles on children's literature, child-rearing, education, and religion outlined the social context of children's periodical fiction and indicated some of the changing ideas and current preoccupations which infiltrated stories for children. The aim of this study is to analyze the contribution made by a small group of writers, editors, and publishers of mid-Victorian children's magazines to the informal education of middle-class children.