In The Children's Book Business, Lissa Paul constructs a new kind of book biography. By focusing on Eliza Fenwick's1805 product-placement vel, Visits to the Juvenile Library, in the context of Marjorie Moon's 1990 bibliography, Benjamin Tabart's Juvenile Library, Paul explains how twenty-first century cultural sensibilities are informed by late eighteenth-century attitudes towards children, reading, kwledge, and publishing. The thinking, kwing children of the Enlightenment, she argues, are models for present day techlogically-connected, socially-conscious children; the increasingly obsolete images of Romantic incent and igrant children are bracketed between the two periods. By drawing on recent scholarship in several fields including book history, cultural studies, and educational theory, The Children's Book Business provides a detailed historical picture of the landscape of some of the trade practices of early publishers, and explains how they developed in concert with the progressive pedagogies of several female authors, including Eliza Fenwick, Mary Wollstonecraft, Anna Barbauld, Maria Edgeworth, and Ann and Jane Taylor. Paul's revisionist reading of the history of children's literature will be of interest to scholars working in eighteenth-century studies, book history, childhood studies, cultural studies, educational history, and children's literature.
Lissa Paul, a professor in the Faculty of Education at Brock University in Canada, publishes and speaks internationally. She is the author of Reading Otherways (Thimble 1998), an Associate General Editor of The Norton Anthology of Children's Literature (Norton 2005), and co-editor, with Phil Nel, of Keywords for Children's Literature (New York UP 2011) . She is currently working on a biography of Eliza Fenwick (1767-1840).