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Originally published in 1899, this book is a social history of the life of children in colonial America. The author conducted extensive research, examining letters and diaries, church and court records, newspapers, early textbooks, and objects such as toys and household implements to gather information about child-rearing practices before the Revolution. Topics include schooling, religious training, discipline, work, games and pastimes, and folkways pertaining to flowers. The 1993 introduction helps to put this work in context.
What did the little ones do back in the days when "children should be seen and not heard"? How were they schooled, what did they wear, and which games did they play? This eye-opening survey revisits the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries for an illustrated look at the lives of Colonial America's youngest citizensThe first American historian to chronicle everyday life of the colonial era, Alice Morse Earle conducted years of research, based on letters, official records, diaries, and other accounts. A vivid portrait emerges, depicting a child's world of hornbooks and primers; lessons in manners and religion; methods of discipline; and toys, pastimes, and other amusements. The author offers a broader perspective by comparing conditions in America with those of England. More than 120 illustrations include reproductions of images by the era's finest artists, including Copley and Peale. "The book is one of historical interest and value," declared The New York Times, praising it as "beautifully illustrated [and] a charming book for old or young."
In Curious Punishments of Bygone Days, the punishment did not always fit the crime, as this fine old illustrated history of wrath and righteousness shows. One of the earliest institutions in every New England community was a pair of stocks. The first public building was a meeting house, but often before any house of God was built, the devil got his restraining engine. And who were the heinous criminals that the righteous put in the stocks? The punishment generally, in England and America both, was for petty thieves, unruly servants, Sabbath-breakers, revilers, gamblers, drunkards, ballad-singers, fortunetellers,traveling musicians, and a variety of other offenders.
Originally published in 1898, this is a classic work on life in colonial America. Earle, a noted social historian of her day, conducted extensive research into the folkways of the colonists, with special emphasis on colonial New England. She writes with warmth, enthusiasm, and understated humor, drawing frequently on letters and diaries of the time. Chapters cover weaving and spinning (described in detail), transportation, housing, hunting and fishing, social customs, flower gardens, and much more.
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