Child Labor in Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism: Climbing Boys And Chimney Sweeps - Essay

Charles Lamb (essay date 1822)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Lamb, Charles. “The Praise of Chimney-Sweepers.” In The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb, edited by E. V. Lucas, Volume II, pp. 108-14. London: Methuen & Co., 1903.

[In the following essay, originally published in 1822, Lamb comments on the young children employed in London as chimney sweeps.]

I Like to meet a sweep—understand me—not a grown sweeper—old chimney-sweepers are by no means attractive—but one of those tender novices, blooming through their first nigritude, the maternal washings not quite effaced from the cheek—such as come forth with the dawn, or somewhat earlier, with their little professional notes sounding like the peep...

(The entire section is 2693 words.)

George L. Phillips (essay date 1949)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Phillips, George L. Introduction to England's Climbing-Boys: A History of the Long Struggle to Abolish Child Labor in Chimney-Sweeping, pp. 1-6. Boston: Baker Library, Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration, 1949.

[In the following excerpt, Phillips provides an overview of the practice of employing small children as chimney sweeps and notes the numerous references to them in literature.]

Climbing-Boys, shouting their shrill cry of “All up” from the chimney-tops, were heard more and more frequently throughout eighteenth century England as the demand for their services, resulting from narrow flues and coal fires, constantly increased. As an...

(The entire section is 2602 words.)