I was Tweeting and needed to know the history of children’s literature in a hurry. Came up with this website.
If you read carefully, you will see that most (all?) of the literature I particularly like (that are not short poems) have been regarded by children as their own. Does that mean I’m a child at heart? I don’t know.
But I think that this history of children’s literature will give me some good places to speak to my Humanities students from, while adding to their information set in a way that may/will be useful to them.
children had to be content with adult works which held some interest for them
Beowulf, Song of Roland, El Cid
King Arthur and his knights of the Round Table [high middle ages: 12th-13th C]
Fables and other tales
The Deeds of the Romans [late 13th C] collection of moral tales and fables; sources of plots for centuries]
animals stories have always been favorites of children
biblical stories; lives of saints; local legends