NEWSLETTER

Society for the History of Children and Youth

No. 10
Summer 2007

Keynote Address
‘The Children’ and ‘the Other Children’: Dualism in the Social Construction of Childhood

Hugh Cunningham, University of Kent

Hugh Cunningham

In A Child’s Garden of Verses, published in 1885, Robert Louis Stevenson attempted to recreate his own childhood. The book was, and has been ever since, a run-away success – the British Library lists nearly one hundred editions.

Running through the verses is an awareness of other and different children, some close at hand, some far away. In the four lines ‘To Auntie’, Jane Whyte Balfour, his mother’s sister, Stevenson wonders how other children could have a childhood without such an aunt:

Chief of our aunts – not only I
But all your dozen of nurslings cry –
What did the other children do?
And what were childhood, wanting you?
[1]

In ‘Foreign Children’, he tries, unsuccessfully, to imagine what it would be like to be foreign:

Little Indian, Sioux or Crow,
Little frosty Eskimo,
Little Turk or Japanee,
O! don’t you wish that you were me?[2]

The idea that we gain a sense of who we are, both individually and as part of a collectivity, by placing ourselves in juxtaposition or opposition to an other, is now a commonplace. It is a notion that informs psychoanalytic thinking on the ego, and has been used widely by social scientists and cultural analysts in looking at, for example, national identity. We are familiar with the idea that our sense of our gender or our ethnicity is unimaginable without some other with which to compare and contrast ourselves. This dualism implies and encourages a characteristic mode of thought: there is I/we and there is the other.

What I want to do is to explore how dualism, or the notion of otherness, has shaped and informed much of our thinking about childhood. Stevenson alerts us to the fact that the ways in which it has done so are not straightforwardly obvious. For a child the most obvious other is the adult just as for the adult it is the child. Each is constructed as in some ways the opposite of the other. The ways in which this child/adult dualism has been worked through in different historical circumstances would be a good topic, but it is not the one I am going to address. Stevenson found the other, not in adults, but in ‘other children’, and it is on this particular dualism, ‘the children’ versus ‘the other children’, that I want to focus.

In most studies of otherness, the other has to be maintained and sustained in order to build up the identity of the self or collective. In Linda Colley’s analysis, for the British to be British, they had to imagine and re-imagine the French as other.[3] But ‘the other children’ have a different function. It is true that many children gained some sense of who they were, or where they stood in the social pecking order, by being told by adults that they should not play or mix with other children who were seen as socially different: in this sense otherness was to be preserved. But at the level of social action or philanthropy, the existence of ‘the other children’ was a call to do something about them, to strip away their otherness. Much social action to improve child life, I shall argue, was built on a rhetoric of the otherness of children in need, and of the undesirability of this otherness.

In 1912 Elizabeth Grierson, taking her cue from Stevenson, wrote a book entitled What the Other Children Do. The title itself is an indication of the power and influence of Stevenson who died in 1894, and became, at least in Scotland, a modern saint. ‘There are’, Grierson explained, ‘“the children” growing up in happy homes, loved, cherished, cared-for; and there are “the other children” living in conditions of which I have tried to give a slight, and by no means an exaggerated, description in the following pages – dirty, half-starved, and neglected …’ The aim of the book was to persuade ‘the children’ to help ‘the other children’. The narrator is a middle-class girl, Margaret, aged seventeen, and she and her younger sister help out at a settlement in Edinburgh, learning about kindergartens, about mothers’ meetings, about cripple schools, about girls’ clubs, about Play Centres, about making gardens. But despite all these efforts, the ‘other children’ remain disturbingly other. When Margaret comes out of a girls’ club, ‘rough boys and wild-looking girls – girls, not any older than I am – were standing about in groups, or chasing one another in and out of the close mouths, with wild shrieks of laughter, that sounded as if it came from rude savages.’[4] 

With otherness we are confronted with a chicken and egg problem. Which come first, ‘the children’, happy and cared-for, or ‘the other children’, dirty and neglected? The answer is that these two social constructions feed on each other. But they feed on each other in particular historical circumstances. The opposition Grierson in the early twentieth century sets up between the two has a history and a future, but it has not been a universal in the history of childhood. If we try to trace its origins, we will find in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries a concern about neglected children. The Spanish humanist, Juan Luis Vives, in the 1520s, advocated a programme of action for the authorities in Bruges that would help to take children off the street and bring them up in institutions. Vives’s recommendations spread throughout Europe, both Catholic and Protestant, and any city of any size built institutions to try to rescue these children. Here, in embryo, were ‘the other children’. But in this rhetoric there were, as yet, no ‘children’ to be set against ‘the other children’. Listen, for example, to Thomas Anguish, a former mayor of Norwich. He wrote about the need for a place for the ‘keeping, bringing up, and teaching of young and very poor children’ who were sleeping out in the streets, finding shelter wherever they could. But there is no contrast made with ‘the children’. Anguish’s concern was that many of these children ‘fall into great and onerous diseases and lamenesses, as that they are fit for no profession, ever after’.[5]Pity for the children on the street sat alongside a concern for the future of the city unless these children were taken into care.

‘The other children’ could only be so-named, and so-imagined, when there was a firmer notion of ‘the children’ and of what childhood should be. That came only with the Romantic movement of the late eighteenth century. Childhood was then constructed as a time of happiness, protection and dependence – and the best part of life, ‘the weary life’s long happy holyday’. Armed with this vision, reformers looked with horror at what was happening to child life in the factories and mines of the early nineteenth century. They explicitly contrasted the lives of working children with the ideal childhood that Wordsworth had taught them about where ‘heaven is around and within us in our infancy’.[6]

This contrast between the ideal childhood and what contemporaries called ‘children without childhood’ proved to be immensely powerful, and it lasts to this day. But the countering of an ideal childhood with the other childhoods which all too many actual children live necessitated a fiction. Very few, if any, children lived their childhoods according to the Wordsworthian ideal. Sometimes in adulthood they imagined that they had.

Stevenson provides a good illustration of the way the ideal childhood was constructed. His sense of the otherness of the ‘little Indian’, or of children deprived of the company of his aunt, helped him to build an idea of himself, and of what childhood should be. But this construction, as he acknowledged in adulthood, was built on deeply suspect foundations: it was a myth. In the myth Stevenson, like all proper children, was happy, playing much of the time in the garden, in touch with nature, and this was how it should be:

Happy hearts and happy faces,
Happy play in grassy places –
This was how, in ancient ages,
Children grew to kings and sages.[7]

But childhood for Stevenson was, as he acknowledged, ‘in reality a very mixed experience, full of fever, nightmare, insomnia, painful days and interminable nights; and I can speak with less authority of Gardens than of that other “land of counterpane.”’[8]Yet in the verse, ‘The Land of Counterpane’, this experience of being ill is transformed:

When I was sick and lay a-bed,
I had two pillows at my head,
And all my toys beside me lay
To keep me happy all the day.

Stevenson, in bed, uses his imagination to march armies across the bedclothes, and send out navies through the sheets, he himself a ‘giant great and still/That sits upon the pillow-hill’.9]Stevenson is here almost consciously distorting reality. Childhood was being constructed as a time of happiness: that construction made the otherness of the other children all the more distressing. The two fed off each other.

The dualism of ‘the children’ and ‘the other children’ informed and inspired numerous attempts to bring about a better life for the other children. There continued a deep anxiety for the future of society of the kind that Thomas Anguish had expressed in the seventeenth century. In the nineteenth century and subsequently, alongside this kind of utilitarianism, there was an emotional drive to rescue other children that derived much of its force from a dualistic frame of thinking. I will come back later to what I see as its drawbacks. Its positive qualities were substantial. It is difficult to think of any of the individual champions of children, say Barnardo, or any of the organisations formed on behalf of children, such as the societies for the prevention of cruelty to children, that were not inspired at some level by a concern for ‘the other children’ as contrasted to ‘the children’. Dualism was based on the idea that there was an essence of childhood, something that all children started with, but which some subsequently lost. To cite one autobiographical example of the sense of shock when a memory of happy childhood encountered ‘other children’, here is Emily Greene Balch, born in 1867 in a Boston Brahmin family: ‘Mine was a simple happy … home. Grass underfoot and a sky overhead were part of my birthright. It was a shock to me when I went through settlement experience when I realized many children have never spent a night in the dark, have never spent a night in silence.’[10]

We can get some sense of the otherness of the children who needed to be rescued by the metaphors and similes used to describe them. Consider Lord Ashley trying to awaken concern for the children of the streets in mid-nineteenth-century London. ‘Language’, he said, ‘is powerless to exhibit the truth’ – but language was all he had. Street children were, he wrote, a ‘tribe – bold, and pert, and dirty as London sparrows’. They were ‘a wild and lawless race’, ‘the wild colts of the Pampas’, ‘the Arabs of the metropolis’. Ashley was not alone in turning to the animal world and to images of savagery. In Paris the street children were said to be ‘as barbarous and as brave as North American Indians’. In Britain, they were not only ‘street Arabs’, but also ‘English Kaffirs’, ‘Hottentots’, ‘ownerless dogs’, ‘like a wild-cat’, rats. They were as other as you could imagine.[11]

It was Dr Barnardo’s propaganda coup – though he was not alone in dreaming up the idea – to show through photographs that these other children could be turned into children. Dressing them up more raggedly than they actually were, he published his famous before and after photographs to show how the money people subscribed to keep his homes open could transform the most wretched of street arabs into a child.[12]

Comparison of children with animals or savages was not the only way to indicate their otherness. Equally telling, and a theme running through the late nineteenth century, was the depiction of the child as prematurely grown-up. ‘Can these be children?’ asked one investigator of delinquency. No, they were ‘diminutive men’. ‘[T]he boys and girls here’, wrote another, ‘are men and women at ten or twelve years of age.’ ‘London’, wrote Brenda in Froggy’s Little Brother, ‘has nothing more sorrowful to show us … than its old children, with their shrewd, anxious faces, and knitted brows, on which hard Care is stamped, instead of the glad expectancy and joyous carelessness which we generally associate with childhood.’[13]

A dualistic and essentialist mode of thinking was reinforced by the late nineteenth and early twentieth century search for a science of childhood. The issue came to the fore with the spread of mass compulsory schooling: some children seemed ill equipped to cope with the demands of school. They were not ‘normal’.  The emphasis of scientific enquiry was on these not normal children, these other children. Their otherness prompted a search for what was normal. From the young science of statistics came the Gaussian curve, a bell-shaped jar, where most fall within the normal category, with exceptions at either end. Once the statistical law had taken root, children were accommodated within it, the normality of most children and the otherness of others a matter of scientific fact.[14] Whereas it is often easier to trace a shift from the children to the other children, in science the other children came first and then helped to establish what it was to be a child.

In the scientific discourse, normality was measured physically, in height and weight, and in brain size; mentally, in IQ tests; and morally, in behaviour. A failure to achieve normality in one domain often implied failure in another: the physically underweight were likely to be also mentally ‘feeble’, and morally weak. As Gillian Sutherland put it, there was an assumption in these enquiries that ‘there was a systematic relationship between physical characteristics, sensory perception and the higher mental processes’.[15]Few of us can have escaped being weighed, measured, and tested to see if we might be one of these unfortunate others.

The focus on the not normal was driven both by concern for them and by fear of them, but it is the concern for them, the wish to provide them with a childhood, that requires emphasis. When Edouard Seguin opened his first school for idiots in 1839 he did so with a conviction that, though they could not be cured, they could be educated. This implied a view that all children had potential access to childhood – that the other children on whom psychology focused might become children. In the words of George Shuttleworth, a British disciple of Seguin, the education of both normal and defective children should follow as closely as possible ‘the mode in which nature herself proceeds in the development of the faculties of perfect children’.[16]Science could reveal nature’s ways – and ‘perfect children’ were what nature intended. When people used the phrase ‘in the best interests of the child’ to describe the kinds of policy aimed at these not normal children, they were at some level accepting that these children had a right to a childhood which could not be secured under normal conditions. All children shared a common essence of childhood. Margaret McMillan, for example, much influenced by Seguin, firmly believed, in Carolyn Steedman’s words, ‘that poor children were the same kind of children as more favoured ones’ – that they could be rescued from their otherness.[17]

The late nineteenth and early twentieth century attempts to establish a science of childhood and of pedagogy lay themselves open to criticism and ridicule. There is much over-blown rhetoric, uncomfortable connections with eugenicism, and a scarcely disguised wish for professional advancement. But there is also, with much reference back to Pestalozzi and Seguin and Froebel, a concern to try to see things from a child’s point of view, and to allow a child to develop in accordance with what were seen as laws of nature. In 1916 a London County Council inspector called for ‘far more attention to be given to the scientific study of the child’ for this would lead to ‘Greater freedom for the child’s natural development and less imposition of adult methods.’[18]  There is in this discourse an essence of childhood that science can unveil, bringing in ‘the other children’ from the alien world they were all too likely to inhabit.

The cast of mind of those who proclaimed and sought to secure the rights of children was fundamentally dualistic. The rights to which children were entitled were the rights to a childhood. An ideal of childhood as a time for natural growth, play and happiness in a protected garden was set against the reality of the lives of all too many children, ‘the other children’, whose rescue could be measured by the extent to which their lives came close to the ideal. There would have been no need to talk about the rights of children had there not been so many ‘other children’ who were without a childhood.

The notion that children have rights has a long history if we take it to mean that societies have generally made some provision for orphans, have imposed on parents obligations to maintain their children, and have protected children in law against ill-treatment. But the notion that children have rights to a childhood, rather than simply rights to some legal protection of their persons, is a specifically modern invention, dating in its origins from the 1830s and closely linked to the campaigns to rescue children from work in mills and mines. Those who invoked childhood for all children did not need to spell out what childhood was. In the words of Benjamin Waugh, prominent in the early history of the NSPCC, ‘The rights of a child are its birthright. The Magna Carta of them, is a child’s nature. The Author, its Creator.’[19]God had endowed children with a nature, and a child’s rights could be read off from that nature. Some of those rights, and Waugh would have insisted on this, needed to be embodied in laws, but there was something about childhood rights that went beyond laws, that no laws could enshrine, and that was a child’s right to the enjoyment of a childhood in touch with nature.

In the twentieth century, beginning with Eglantyne Jebb’s 1924 Geneva Declaration of the rights of the child, there were successive attempts (1959, 1989) to set out rights of the child that would bring within their ambit every child in the world. The implication of them, the necessity for them, was that some, perhaps many or even most, children were not enjoying those rights: they were the other. A declaration of the rights of the child, universal in scope, offered the opportunity to bring all the other children over to the side of childhood.

The ambition and optimism that lay behind these efforts need to be emphasised. The twentieth century was to be ‘the century of the child’. But at its outset not only were there all too many children in the western world who could not be said to be enjoying a childhood; there were also all the children of the undeveloped world, most of them in the empires that European countries ruled. Was it envisaged, was it feasible, to bring all these children within the compass of a proper childhood? To answer this, and to put it in context, we need to be aware of the profound sense of the otherness of children in the colonies that was inherited from the nineteenth century. We can best see this in the way children themselves were encouraged to think about other children – and it is a reinforcement of the suggestion that a sense of the otherness of other children originates in childhood. In 1842 some 6000 children gathered in London’s Exeter Hall for the annual meeting of the London Missionary Society. There they sang a special hymn that went like this:

Lord! while the little heathens bend,
And call some wooden god their friend;
Or stand and see, with bitter cries,
Their mothers burnt before their eyes;
While many a dear and tender child
Is thrown to bears and tigers wild;
Or left upon the river’s brink,
To suffer more than heart can think;
Behold, what mercies we possess!
How far beyond our thankfulness!
By happy thousands here we stand,
To serve thee in a Christian land.[20]
Leading audience in song
 
Hugh Cunningham, leading the audience in song!

 

That was in 1842. Forty years later, in 1882, some girls organised a fancy sale in support of missions, wanting ‘to bring happiness to the women and children of India, who are kept shut up, and know nothing of the free happy life that most English girls lead, or worse still, know nothing of the blessed Saviour.’[21] 

The otherness of these children was so profound that it was going to be difficult to bridge the gap. And yet in the twentieth century the attempt was made. The 1924 Declaration of Children’s Rights aimed to promote children’s rights ‘beyond and above all considerations of race, nationality, or creed’. Its main promoter, the Save the Children International Union, tried to do just that. At the 1931 Geneva conference on ‘The African Child’ the emphasis was on the rights of all children to have access to decent standards of welfare, the belief widespread that the world was en route to that destination.[22]Or, consider child labour, already by the late nineteenth century seen as a stain on the reputation of countries like Britain, but not by any means eliminated. And yet, in 1919 the newly founded International Labour Office set as one of its goals the elimination of child labour. In the route to that goal, allowances were made for the special circumstances of the colonies and other undeveloped countries. Nevertheless, they were included in the overall goal. Child labour was to be abolished. The thing that had done most in the nineteenth century to stir people to campaign for a better life for children, the thing that had been most deeply sensed as denying a childhood to children, was now to be the focus of a campaign for its global elimination. That campaign reached its apogee in 1973 when the ILO set the target of fifteen as the age beneath which no child should work, hoping to raise it in due course to sixteen.[23]

1973 may be seen as the year in which the hopes for children in the century of the child themselves reached their peak. Thereafter it was downhill. The economic difficulties following on the oil price rise of that year were accompanied by a challenge to dominant Keynsian thinking by monetarism. As free market doctrines spread, so faded the protection of childhood that governments had begun to assume as their duty. In the undeveloped world, child labour began to increase, schooling rates often to decline as the IMF insisted on a return to payment of school fees.[24]In the developed world, there began a chorus of complaints that children were losing their childhood, Neil Postman’s 1982 The Disappearance of Childhood perhaps the most famous. In the twenty-first century, children, it is often said, are being robbed of their childhood. In September 2006 in Britain a ‘Hold on to Childhood’ campaign was launched in the wake of a book entitled Toxic Childhood, its contents probably only too apparent from the title – children were being poisoned.[25]This turn of events and of mind post 1973 deeply affected the overall perception of childhood and of children. Whereas the hope in the first three-quarters of the twentieth century was that more and more children would come over from their otherness to enjoy a childhood, the fear in the last quarter and on into our own century has been that all children may become other: not really children at all.

Harry Hendrick drew our attention many years ago to the ways in which children were both idealised and feared.[26] The balance in recent years has swung towards fear. Take a simple measure, children’s health. No one can doubt that the health of children in the developed world improved out of all recognition in the first three-quarters of the twentieth century. Yet by the end of the century obesity was posing a threat to many of those improvements. Rates of mental illness among children were also soaring. One in twelve British children was reported to self-harm.[27]From the point of view of a dualistic approach to the history of childhood, we are seeing a huge increase in the proportion of children who are at some level deemed to be other, to be failing to live up to the ideal of childhood established over one hundred years ago.

I have so far presented as positive the ways in which a dualistic outlook on children inspired many people to try to bring about better conditions for children. But, as I hinted earlier, dualism also has its negative side. The childhood set up as an ideal – happy, healthy, in the country, dependent and protected - was really never much more than an ideal. Few children had childhoods that approximated to it. In an urban society, for example, it was unrealistic, if not impossible, to envisage a childhood for the masses that was rural and in touch with nature: the majority of children were inevitably going to have less than perfect childhoods. More fundamentally, the dependency and protection that were part and parcel of the ideal of childhood could come to seem a denial to them of rights to personhood. In the words of John Holt, campaigner in the 1970s for a different sort of children’s rights, childhood had become a prison.[28] 

What is surprising is the extent to which a (damaging) dualistic mode of thinking spread far outside the ranks of philanthropists or campaigners for children’s rights. It became part of popular culture, and it remains so. Taking their inspiration from Joshua Reynolds’s ‘The Age of Innocence’, artists in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries painted children in the countryside or at the seaside, in harmony with nature. These were ‘the children’. The ‘other children’ were the urban waifs and strays. And these paintings sold.[29]

At another level, people became accustomed to think of their childhoods as happy or unhappy: they had been either children or other children. And they learned the consequences of unhappiness as a child, of being other: they would have perhaps insurmountable difficulties to cope with in adulthood. There were, in retrospect and memory, no childhoods falling into the great gulf between happiness and unhappiness: you either had a happy childhood, or you did not; you were either one of the children or of the other children.

Conclusion:

1.  I have argued that a dualistic framework made sense to campaigners of what they were doing. But does it amount to any more than this? Surely there are other ways of understanding and explaining the child-saving movement? Of course there are. The most powerful of them is the one articulated forty years ago by Tony Platt in The Child Savers. For Platt the child savers have to be seen in the context of the overall attempt of capital to maintain and enforce social control.[30]I don’t want to take explicit issue with that interpretation, but suggest that in rightly rejecting the progressivist assumptions that underlay previous accounts, Platt necessarily underplayed the understanding of themselves that child savers had, and that others had of them. Child saving was a crusade, its leaders in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century imbued with saintliness. Take, for example, two British women whom I have mentioned in passing, Margaret McMillan, the pioneer of nursery education, who died in 1931, and Eglantyne Jebb, the founder of the Save the Children International, who died in 1929. People who encountered them felt themselves to be in the presence of saints.[31] Child saving evoked that kind of response. And for both McMillan and Jebb a sense of the unnecessary and undeserved otherness of so many children was a driving force.

2.  This dualistic framework was reinforced by what purported to be science. No one did more than McMillan to popularise the ideas of the science of childhood for a lay readership.

3.  Acceptance of the importance of dualism alone makes sense of the campaigns for the recognition of the rights of children.

4.  Dualism was associated with optimism in the period up to the 1970s, with a belief, that, allowing for setbacks and disappointments, the world was getting better for children. Since the 1970s dualism has been associated with pessimism, a view that more and more children are becoming other.

5.  Dualism has unhealthily prolonged and perpetuated a romantic view of childhood as ideally innocent, happy and dependent.

Originating in the western world in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, a dualistic mode of thinking about children has become both dominant and, curiously, unrecognised. I have tried to demonstrate the dominance and to argue that we ought to be more aware than we are of its effects, both positive and negative. I am not suggesting a new one-paradigm-fits-all way of understanding the history of childhood in recent times, but I have found that dualism offers insights into that history, and in particular into the motivations and self-understanding of social actors. Most of my examples have been taken from British history, but I don’t think dualism is unique to the British. For me, the mythologizing of the perfect childhood, to which Robert Louis Stevenson contributed in A Child’s Garden of Verses, has had the effect of making many children, across the world, seem as ‘other’, as not really children at all. Children themselves, as Stevenson did, may think in this way, and adults certainly do. The author of The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, that classic of a dualistic split and of its consequences, has a lot to answer for. 

NOTES

1. Robert Louis Stevenson, A Child’s Garden of Verses (Harmondsworth, Puffin Books, 1948), 113.

2.Ibid., 49.

3 Linda Colley, Britons: Forging the Nation 1707-1837 (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1992)

4 Elizabeth Grierson, What the Other Children Do (London: Adam & Charles Black, 1912), ix-x, 104.

5 Anguish quoted in Margaret Pelling, ‘Child health as a social value in early modern England’, Social History of Medicine, I (1988), 142-3.

6 Hugh Cunningham, The Children of the Poor: Representations of Childhood since the Seventeenth Century (Oxford: Blackwell, 1991), 90-1.

7 Stevenson, Garden of Verses, 47.

8 To William Archer, 29 March 1885, Bradford A. Booth and Ernest Mehew (eds), The Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson, 8 vols (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1994-5), V, 97.

9 Stevenson, Garden of Verses, 33.

10 Quoted in Elinor M. Despalatović and Joel Halpern, ‘Emily Balch: Balkan Traveller, Peace Worker and Nobel Laureate’, in John B. Allcock and Antonia Young (eds), Black Lambs and Grey Falcons: Women Travellers in the Balkans (Bradford: Bradford University Press, 1991), 37.

11 Cunningham, Children of the Poor, 106-8.

12 Gillian Wagner, Barnardo (London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1979), 140-1, 144-6.

13 Cunningham, Children of the Poor, 111, 140.

14 Gillian Sutherland, Ability, Merit and Measurement: Mental Testing and English Education 1880-1940 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1984), 5-24; Nikolas Rose, The Psychological Complex: Psychology, Politics and Society in England, 1869-1939 (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1985); AdrianWooldridge, Measuring the Mind: Education and Psychology in England, c. 1860-c. 1990 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), 50-1.

15 Sutherland, Ability, Merit and Measurement, 115.

16 Quoted in Mark Jackson, ‘”Grown-up children”: Understandings of Health and Mental Deficiency in Edwardian England’, in Marijke Gijwijt-Hofstra and Hilary Marland (eds), Cultures of Child Health in Britain and the Netherlands in the Twentieth Century (Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, 2003), 152.

17 Carolyn Steedman, Childhood, Culture and Class in Britain: Margaret McMillan, 1860-1931 (London: Virago, 1990), 198.

18 Quoted in Wooldridge, Measuring the Mind, 85.

19 Hugh Cunningham, ‘The rights of the child from the mid-eighteenth to the early twentieth century’, Aspects of Education, 50 (1994), 2-16.

20 F.K. Prochaska, Women and Philanthropy in Nineteenth-Century England 9Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1980), 92-3.

21 Ibid., 87.

22 Dominique Marshall, ‘Children’s Rights in Imperial Political Cultures: Missionary and Humanitarian Contributions to the Conference on the African Child of 1931’, The International Journal of Children’s Rights, 12 (2004), 273-318.

23 Hugh Cunningham, ‘The rights of the child and the wrongs of child labour’, in Kristoffel Lieten and Ben White (eds), Child Labour: Policy Options (Amsterdam: Aksant, 2001), 19-23.

24 G.A. Cornia, R. Jolly and F. Stewart (eds), Adjustment with a Human Face, 2 vols (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1987), II, 106-7, 175, 213, 261.

25 Sue Palmer, Toxic Childhood (London: Orion Books, 2006). For the ‘Hold on to Childhood’ campaign, Daily Telegraph, 13 September 2006.

26 Harry Hendrick, Child Welfare: England 1872-1989 (London and New York: Routledge, 1994), 1-15.

27 Observer, 26 March 2006.

28 John Holt, Escape from Childhood (1974: Harmondsworth: Pelican, 1975), 22-3.

29 See, e.g., Anne Higonnet, Pictures of Innocence: The History and Crisis of Ideal Childhood (London: Thames and Hudson, 1998); Children in Art (London: Pavilion Books, 1989); J.J.H. Dekker, ‘Family on the beach: representations of romantic and bourgeois family values by realistic genre painting of nineteenth-century Scheveningen beach’, Journal of Family History 28 (2003), 277-96; J. Treuherz, Hard Times: Social Realism in Victorian Art (London and New York, 1987), esp. pp. 29-35, 107-8.

30 Anthony M. Platt, The Child Savers: The Invention of Delinquency, 2nd edn (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1977).

31 Steedman, Childhood, Culture and Class in Britain; Francesca M. Wilson, Rebel Daughter of a Country House: The Life of Eglantyne Jebb, Founder of the Save the Children Fund (London, George Allen and Unwin, 1967)

© Society for the History of Children and Youth, 2007

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