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About the Author: F.J. Harvey Darton

F.J. Harvey Darton (1878–1936), editor, biographer, journalist, and historian of children's literature.

A member of the fourth generation of the renowned Darton publishing empire, Frederick Joseph Harvey Darton attended Dover College and graduated from Oxford in 1899 with a degree in classics. He was a director of Wells Gardner, Darton & Co. from 1904 until its sale in 1928, being instrumental in their publication of John Masefield's Martin Hyde (1906), as well as editing the company's children's magazines, The Prize and, more notably, Chatterbox from 1901 to 1931. Under his editorship Chatterbox developed a style more suited to early 20th-century boys’ interests, with contributions from Masefield. Darton himself rewrote and published new editions of fables and romances such as The Seven Champions of Christendom (1901), an autobiographical novel for adults; My Father's Son (1913), a full-length biography; The Life and Times of Mrs. Sherwood (1910); and a monograph on J. M. Barrie (1928). He also contributed the chapter on children's books in Volume 11 of the Cambridge History of English Literature (1914).

Darton's unique contribution to the field of children's literature lies in the work of his retirement, Children's Books in England: Five Centuries of Social Life (1932), the first scholarly history of the subject; it remains an invaluable source of information. Synthesizing his family involvement in children's publishing since the late 18th century, an intimate acquaintance with medieval literature, and his journalistic research into earlier books for children, and using the resources of his own extensive collection of early children's books, Darton drew on an unrivaled pool of knowledge and wrote with an authoritative, energetic, and enthusiastic commitment to proselytize. His book sets children's literature in its sociohistorical context and is, in his own words, “a chronicle of the English people in their capacity of parents, guardians and educators of children.”

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ISBN10: 1447405080 | ISBN13: 9781447405085

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