A Child's History of England
'A Child's History of England' Summary
Although the volumes were published in December, each was post-dated the following year. They bore the titles:
- Volume I. – England from the Ancient Times, to the Death of King John (1852)
- Volume II. – England from the Reign of Henry the Third, to the Reign of Richard the Third (1853)
- Volume III. – England from the Reign of Henry the Seventh to the Revolution of 1688 (1854)
Dickens dedicated the book to "My own dear children, whom I hope it may help, bye and bye, to read with interest larger and better books on the same subject". The history covered the period between 50 BC and 1689, ending with a chapter summarising events from then until the accession of Queen Victoria. In a letter to his friend Douglas William Jerrold, Dickens confessed that he was composing the book so that he could prevent his children from embracing conservatism:
I am writing a little history of England for my boy...For I don't know what I should do, if he were to get hold of any conservative or High Church notions; and the best way of guarding against any such horrible result is, I take it, to wring the parrots' neck in his very cradle."
A Child's History was included in the curricula of British schoolchildren well into the 20th century, with successive editions published from 1851 to World War II.
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