Matthew Grenby, director of the Humanities Research Institute and professor of eighteenth-century studies at Newcastle University, UK, will present "Going Global: Transnational Networks and the Spread of Early Modern Children’s Books."
Abstract: Books designed especially for children, either for their instruction or entertainment, began to be produced in a number of European countries from the seventeenth century. These children’s books, in various genres and formats, circulated around Europe, and there are striking cross-national continuities as well as interesting regional differences. What is perhaps most remarkable, however, is the global dissemination of these books, across the Atlantic to the Americas, but also along colonial, trading and missionary routes to South and South-East Asia. This paper will trace some of this largely unknown literary history, from c.1700 to c.1850, making the case for the importance of children’s books to the development of transnational networks of print.