A Juvenile Miscellany: An Anthology of Lydia Maria Child's Writing for Children

Thomas Ruys Smith (Editor), Hilary Emmett (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportAnthology


Edited with an introduction by Hilary Emmett & Thomas Ruys Smith in collaboration with students from the Department of American Studies at UEA.

Author and activist Lydia Maria Child was a foundational figure in the development of American literature in the early nineteenth century. After her debut novel Hobomok (1824) challenged readers with its representation of interracial marriage, she continued to blaze literary trails for the rest of her life, developing a loyal readership as she confronted the most pressing issues in American life. She wrote novels, poems and short stories, composed housekeeping and parenting manuals, edited abolitionist newspapers and narratives—most notably Harriet Jacobs' Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (1861). Less well-known is that she almost single-handedly invented a new American literature for children. For decades, and particularly during her time at the helm of groundbreaking children’s magazine The Juvenile Miscellany (1826-1834), Child was a constant companion for young readers across the world.

For the first time, this anthology brings together a career-spanning collection of Child’s writing for children which demonstrates the extraordinary richness and range of her vital work in this field. As she shaped the idea of what children’s literature could be and do, Child trusted her young readers to understand difficult questions of social and racial justice, explorations of natural and national history, sentimental domestic sketches, and much more besides. Contemporary readers can now rediscover the delight that the arrival of a new issue of The Juvenile Miscellany brought to the world while grappling critically with the ongoing resonance of these questions in the twenty-first century.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherUEA Publishing Project
Number of pages300
ISBN (Print)978-1915812278
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2023

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