Children's Literature Moral Tales - Essay

Moral Tales

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

F. J. Harvey Darton

SOURCE: "The Moral Tale: (i) Didactic" and "The Moral Tale: (ii) Persuasive; chiefly in verse," in Children's Books in England: Five Centuries of Social Life, Cambridge at the University Press, 1932, pp. 158-81, 182-204.

[In the following excerpt from his seminal study of children's literature, Darton discusses in detail the history of instructional literature, listing many of its practitioners and conventions.]

Between about 1790 and 1820 there were at least a score of writers for children whose recognition by the public was sufficient, on economic grounds, to get them into print regularly. The stronger ones . . . have...

(The entire section is 15120 words.)