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16th January 2013 - Childhood

We met on 16th January to talk about conceptions of childhood in the nineteenth century - what did it mean to be a child, and how were children represented?

Links to the reading can be found below. If you can get through it all, then great, but if not, please do still come along to share your thoughts and ideas about what you have read. I haven’t prepared many images but if you know of any artworks on this theme that you think we could talk about, please mention them during the meeting so that we can all have a look.

Extract from The Mothers of England by Sarah Stickney Ellis. Chapter 2 can be found at the link below – no need to read the whole thing, pages 20-30 will probably do. (page numbers on the left hand side, you might need to refresh the page to see them).

Selections from Christina Rossetti's Sing Song, the text of which can be found in full here (text only) and here (facsimile, with illustrations).
In particular, the poems and illustrations for 'A baby's cradle with no baby in it' (page 15), 'Seldom 'can't'' (page 45), 'A motherless soft lambkin' (page 63), 'Dancing on the hill-tops' (page 64), 'Sing me a song' (page 76), 'The rose that blushes rosy red' (page 117), 'Motherless baby and babyless mother' (page 130). These are by no means limits - there are a great number of poems and they're all very short so if any others catch your eye we can talk about them too.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning, 'The Cry of the Children', can be found all over the web including here.

And, if you feel inclined, Episode 1 of BBC programme Queen Victoria’s Children, focussing on Victoria’s relationships with Albert and their children. This is specifically about the royal family and we will be discussing childhood more generally, but it does raise some of the themes we might talk about, and it's quite entertaining. This is 1 hour long and is available on BBC iPlayer until 10th January (after that I think you can watch a few short clips of it or stay up late for a repeat).