Childrens Fiction Chapter uri icon


  • This chapter examines the transformation of children's fiction by considering a variety of genres and the cultural uses to which they were put, especially as regards attitudes towards selfhood. Children's fiction often featured Christian, particularly evangelical themes. Middle-class adults encouraged early reading as an important tool for inculcating virtue and religious understanding in their own children. Early fiction aimed at the young and the poor was frequently designed to explain in simple, accessible terms the duties of Christians in the modern world. Perhaps the most influential of all early nineteenth-century tracts for children was The History of the Fairchild Family by Mary Martha Sherwood, which appeared in three parts in 1818, 1842, and 1847, and unites the domestic novel with late-eighteenth-century religious texts.

author list (cited authors)

  • Claudia, N.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Claudia, Nelson

editor list (cited editors)

  • Kucich, J., & Taylor, J. B.

Book Title

  • The Oxford History of the Novel in English

publication date

  • November 2011