Children's literature as we know it did not exist before the mid-eighteenth century; yet from medieval times on, a wealth of poetry and prose was read by and to children. In this anthology Patricia Demers illustrates the development of that literature, from its earnest beginnings to the dawnof its Golden Age, introducing the selections and placing them in historical context. From early colloquies and hornbooks to charming miniature libraries, the selections--many of which are accompanied by their original illustrations--provide a window through which to trace the developing concept ofchildhood in itself and the cultural value of the child.The academic study of children's literature has made important gains in the two decades since the first edition of From Instruction to Delight appeared. This expanded second edition reflects that growth in theoretical sophistication. In addition, it offers a number of new selections, includingsqamples of writing by children themselves (juvenilia) and 'mothers' advice', and an extensive bibliography.
Patricia Demers is at the Department of English, University of Alberta.