The Mind of the Child Child Development in Literature, Science, and Medicine 1840-1900

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  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2013-12-01
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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What is the difference between a lie and a fantasy, when the subject is a child? Moving between literary and scientific texts, Sally Shuttleworth explores a range of fascinating issues that emerge when the inner world of the child becomes, for the first time, the explicit focus of literary and medical attention. Starting in the 1840s, which saw the publication of explorations of child development by Bronte and Dickens, as well as some of the first psychiatric studies of childhood, this groundbreaking book progresses through post-Darwinian considerations of the child's relations to the animal kingdom, to chart the rise of the Child Study Movement of the 1890s.

Based on in-depth interdisciplinary research, The Mind of the Child offers detailed readings of novels by Dickens, Meredith, James, Hardy and others, as well as the first overview of the early histories of child psychology and psychiatry. Initial chapters cover issues such as fears and night terrors, imaginary lands, and the precocious child, while later ones look at ideas of child sexuality and adolescence and the relationship between child and monkey. Experiments on babies, the first baby shows, and domestic monkey keeping also feature.

Many of our current concerns with reference to childhood are shown to have their parallels in the Victorian age: from the pressures of school examinations, or the problems of adolescence, through to the disturbing issue of child suicide. Childhood, from this period, took on new importance as holding the key to the adult mind.

Author Biography

Sally Shuttleworth, Professor of English Literature, and Head of Humanities Division, University of Oxford

Professor Sally Shuttleworth is Head of the Humanities Division at the University of Oxford. She has published widely on literature and science, including George Eliot and Nineteenth-century Science; Charlotte Bronte and Victorian Psychology and Embodied Selves: An Anthology of Psychological Texts, 1830-1890 (co-edited with Jenny Bourne Taylor). She also co-directed the Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical project.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Part I Early Child Psychiatry and the Literary Imagination
1. The Emergence of Child Psychiatry
2. Fears, Phantasms, and Night Terrors
3. Lies and Imagination
4. Imaginary Lands
5. Passion
Part II Systematic Education
6. The Forcing Apparatus: Dombey and Son
7. Progress, Pressure, and Precocity
8. Science, System, and the Sexual Body: The Ordeal of Richard Feverel
Part III Post-Darwinian Childhood: Sexuality and Animality
9. Childhood in Post-Darwinian Psychiatry
10. Childhood, Sexuality, and the Novel
11. The Science of Child Development
12. Experiments on Babies
13. Monkeys and Children
Part IV Childhood at the Fin-de-Siecle
14. Child Study in the 1890s
15. Autobiography and the Science of Child Study
16. Unnatural History: Father and Son
17. Childhood as Performance: What Maisie Knew
18. Jude the Obscure and Child Suicide

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