The invention of childhood


1812 Swiss pastor Johann David Wyss’s Swiss Family Robinson focuses on four children who, with their parents, discover self-sufficiency on a desert island.

1863 The hero of The Water Babies, by English author Charles Kingsley, is a young chimney sweep who learns moral lessons in a fantastic underwater realm.


1883 Italian Carlo Collodi’s The Adventures of Pinocchio, featuring a marionette, is a moral tale for children.

1894 Characters in English author Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book include Mowgli, a boy raised by wolves, and Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, a mongoose.

The concept of “childhood” was really only ...

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