In Behold the Child, Gillian Avery offers an engaging account of children's literature in America from colonial times to the early twentieth century. Exploring a variety of social, cultural, and practical forces, Avery shows how the literature of the old world influenced that of the new and describes the emergence of uniquely American styles and themes in children's books. Her topics include the early days of colonial publishing, the defenders and detractors of Mother Goose, the influence of Sunday schools and tract societies, the "chaste eroticism" of romantic fiction for young readers, and changing notions of American heroes and heroines.
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