Chapter : 4. Print Culture and The Modern World

Children, Women and Workers

(a) Children, Women and Workers
(i) From the late nineteenth century, children became an important category of readers. Production of school textbooks became critical for the publishing industry. A children's press, devoted to literature for children alone, was set up in France in 1857. This press published new works as well as old fairy tales and folk tales. Anything that was considered unsuitable for children or would appear vulgar to the elites, was not included in the published version.
(ii) Women became important as readers as well as writers. Penny magazines were especially meant for women, as were manuals teaching proper behaviour and housekeeping. Some of the best known novelists were women : Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, George Eliot. Their writings became important in defining a new type of woman : a person with will, strength of personality, determination and the power to think.
(iii) In the nineteenth century, lending libraries in England became instruments for educating white collar workers, artisans and lower-middle-class shortened from the mid-nineteenth century self-expression. They wrote political tracts and autobiographies in large numbers.

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