Children's works occupy an important place amongother varieties of fiction, because in many respects reflect the characteristics of the culture of a particular people, the system of its values. Each culture has its own notions of good and evil, right and wrong, beautiful and ugly, fair and unjust. As a child, we absorb the values that remain with us for life. The importance of literature for children, therefore, should not be underestimated.
It should be noted the characteristic feature of children'sbooks - a combination of artistry and pedagogical requirements. Such literature should not only entertain, but also teach, guide, and orient. Children's writers of the 18th century (and their works, of course) sought to convey to children important knowledge about the world, to inspire the right values.
Take the two countries - Great Britain and Russia - andon the example of children's works created in these states, we will see that this is indeed so. Literature of the 18th century, writers and their works are offered to your attention.
Children's literature of Great Britain of 18 centuries
Each of us has his favorite books from childhood: tales of "Alice in Wonderland", "Kid and Carlson who lives on the roof", "Matilda", "Thumbelina", "Gulliver's Travels" and "Robinson Crusoe" (of course, everyone has their own list). But suppose that we would not grow up in the 21st century in Russia, but in the 18th century in England, what could we then read?
From the above list, we would have onlythe book "Robinson Crusoe" by Daniel Defoe (1719) and "Gulliver's Travels" by Jonathan Swift (1726) in a special version for children, written in a simplistic language, with many pictures.
However, does this mean that in the 18th century the English children had nothing to read? Let's figure it out.
The fact is that fairy-tale stories existedalways, and there was never a defect in them. Even when there was no written language, they were passed on from generation to generation in the form of folklore. But in the 17-18 centuries, with the development of printing, more and more professional writers began to appear, in particular children's writers. Fairy tales at that time, as now, admired and frightened children, creating fantastic worlds, which adults, absorbed in everyday cares, did not always approve.
Here are just the main children's writers of the 18th century and their works.
"Robinson Crusoe" by Daniel Defoe
Let us return to England in the 18th century. At that time, if I may say so, the real "best seller" was Defoe's work. The book "Robinson Crusoe" praised the courage, perseverance, resourcefulness of a man forced to exist in extreme conditions. Also very popular was Jonathan Swift's fairy tale, in which the author's appeal to the discovery of new dimensions and horizons is felt.
"Gulliver's Travels" by Jonathan Swift
The success of "Gulliver's Travels"that began to appear other books for children, in which the desire to imitate this work was clearly read, with the words "Gulliver" and "Lilliput" in the titles, in order to evoke a certain association. One of the earliest examples was the children's "Lilliput Magazine", published in 1751, created by John Newbery, a writer from London. Another example is the "Library of the Lilliputians, or the Gulliver's Museum" in ten volumes of a small format, published in Dublin in the 1780s. This book was released specifically for children, and its price was small, so that children could buy it for themselves. The total value of 10 volumes was only five British shillings, and individual parts could be bought for six pence each. However, even this relatively low price was still too high for many children and their parents. Only representatives of middle-income and high-income families could afford to buy such literature and had literacy sufficient to read it.
Cheap books in the genre of popular literatureexisted already then and were accessible to less well-off strata of the population. They included children's stories, stories, travels, songs, prayer books, stories about robbers, robbers and murderers. These volumes were of poor quality and were sold for one or two pennies.
In 1712, a translation into English of the famous Arabian tales "A Thousand and One Nights" appeared.
As you can see, children's literature of that time actively developed in England. And what was on the territory of Russia? Read more about this.
Russian Books for Children of the 18th Century
In Russia there are actually children's writers18th century and their works (the first Russian books, written specifically for children, were created on the territory of our state in the 17th century, the 18th century continued this tradition).
The epoch of Peter I gave impetus to the development of enlightenment, inparticular literature for children. The tsar himself believed that it was very important to take care of the upbringing of the younger generation. At this time, children's books are mainly pursuing an educational goal. Textbooks, alphabets and letters are printed.
"Youth honest mirror"
Writers of the 18th century (Russian) list of children'sliterature is opened with the educational. As an example, you can cite "Youth honest mirror". In this work, the rules of conduct at the court were introduced, which Peter the Great introduced with his reforms. This book was composed of the czar's successors by his personal decree. At the head of the writers working on the work was Gavrila Buzhinsky. Among other things, the book contained materials on spelling, alphabet, and spelling. It was intended "Youth honest mirror" to the future elite, the king's support - to children who later were to become courtiers. In the book, the main idea is that in achieving success, it is not the origin of a person that is more important, but his personal merits, although the special position of the nobility was emphasized at the same time. His vices were pointed out and criticized. For girls, a special code was created out of twenty virtues, among which one should especially note helpfulness, taciturnity, religiousness, diligence. Writers of the 18th century (Russian) list of female virtues revealed figuratively, by example, creating vivid female images in their works.
In the eighteenth century,translated literature, for example Aesop's fables. These fables, written in the 6th century BC. e. sage Aesop, are well perceived by children thanks to the opportunity to present themselves in the image of heroes - animals, birds, trees, flowers ... Aesop's fables give the opportunity to joking and playing to overcome their vices and develop associative thinking.
After the 50's, the actualchildren's writers of the 18th century and their works. But still the bulk of children's literature is borrowed from the West (especially from France). It should be noted, of course, the famous French storyteller of the 17th century Charles Perrault. His tales "Cinderella", "Sleeping Beauty", "Little Red Riding Hood", "Bluebeard" are known and loved by children around the world. Not only readers but also poets and writers of the 18th century drew inspiration from these works.
Writers of the 18th century
Feofan Prokopovich opens the list. This author wrote for children two books - "A Brief Russian History", as well as "The First Teaching of the Youth." In the preface to the second book, he noted that childhood is a very important time in the life of every person, since then the main features of character and habits are formed. Children should read books and love them.
Not only professional poets and writers 18century created children's books. Even the heads of state considered it their duty to teach young people themselves. This example was shown by Catherine II. She created a large number of works, among which were books for children, for example, "The Tale of Tsarevich Chlora" and "The Tale of Tsarevich Feive." Of course, they were far from fairy tales in the modern sense of the word, with their bright characters and heroes. These works only depicted the vices and virtues in general, abstract. However, the example of Catherine II was contagious, and he was later followed by many famous Russian writers of the 18th century, creating works especially for children.
Nikolai Ivanovich Novikov
An important contribution to the development of children's literature was made byNikolai Ivanovich Novikov. He is the publisher of the first children's magazine - "Child Reading for the Heart and Mind." It printed works of different genres: fairy tales, stories, plays, jokes, etc. Not only fiction was represented in the magazine. It included popular scientific children's articles that tell young readers about nature, the surrounding world, various countries, cities and peoples inhabiting them. These articles were written figuratively, interestingly, in the form of a conversation. Novikov in his works preached the ideas of good and humanism, human dignity, which, in his opinion, should be taught from childhood to children. The magazine was a great success and was very popular at the time. Famous writers of the 18th century were published in this edition.
Nikolai Michailovich Karamzin
It is necessary to say a few words about NikolaiMikhailovich Karamzin. This writer created and translated more than 30 different works for children. Being a representative of sentimentalism (which was followed by many Russian writers of the 18th century), so close to children's nature, he became especially popular among young middle-aged and older readers. In 1789 the first works of Karamzin were published in the magazine "Children's Reading for the Heart and Mind". Nikolai Mikhailovich wrote for children after the closure of this journal. In the last decade of the 18th century he created such works as "The Beautiful Tsarevna", "The Dense Forest" and "Ilya Muromets". In the last fairy tale Russian legends were reflected. This work was not finished. Ilya Muromets, created by the writer's pen, was not at all like a typical hero from the epic, as we usually imagine it, but only somewhat reminiscent of the latter. The fairy tale does not describe fights against Russia's enemies, it opens the lyrical part of the soul of Ilya of Murom in communicating with his beloved. In the spirit of sentimentalism, Karamzin detailed the feelings of the heroes, creating vivid pictures.
Thus, the 18th century brought a lot of newchildren's literature both abroad and in our country. Literature for children actively continued its development in 19, and then in the 20th century. And in its development there is clearly a continuity. For example, Charles Perrault's fairy tales were later used by Andersen, Pushkin, the Brothers Grimm, Irving. That is, the motives of some of the fairy tales have perfectly taken root in others. The works of Russian writers of the 18th century were read both in 19 and later. The children's literature of the 19th century is characterized by a still greater connection with literature for adults, as well as with education and culture in general.