FLOWERS OF DELIGHT: An Agreeable Garland of Prose and Poetry 1765-1830 by Leonard- Ed. de Vries

FLOWERS OF DELIGHT: An Agreeable Garland of Prose and Poetry 1765-1830

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Irresistible for browsing and superbly made, this is an anthology that has been put together from materials in the Osborne Collection of Early Children's Books of the Toronto Public Library. It is certainly for everyone who wishes to become expert in the field of children's literature and offers antiquarian delights for any literate adult. Every effort has been made to retain the character of the type used in the chap books of the period as well as the spelling. The original illustrations have been reproduced wherever possible. In a terminal essay, the anthologist has done an outstanding condensation of the history of children's book production. It must be said, however, that Mr. de Vries does, in that essay, leap right into one of the most obvious of the many pits that await all critics. He scolds the 20th century children's book field by overclaiming the merits and overestimating the literary distinction of children's books produced in the late 18th and early 19th. How anybody can peruse these primary examples of gothic horror piled on pious bilge, most of them hysterically overwritten even by the standards of that age, and come away thinking that the genre has not vastly improved in general terms is beyond our occupationally elastic indulgence of other viewpoints. The truth would seem to be, from his own collection of the evidence, that the authors were as addicted (and then some) to pushing the manners and the morals of their day under the eyes of their youngsters your own century, while the materials for the youngest children appear to retain their charm at full strength. Once opened, this book will not easily be closed. And look forward to the next de Vries anthology--it's to be books published by Newbery.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1966
Publisher: Pantheon