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Growing Up in France From the Ancien Regime to the Third Republic by Colin (University of Nottingham) Heywood

Growing Up in France From the Ancien Regime to the Third Republic


Growing Up in France From the Ancien Regime to the Third Republic by Colin (University of Nottingham) Heywood

How did French people write about their own childhood and youth between the 1760s and the 1930s? Colin Heywood argues that this was a critical period in the history of young people, as successive generations moved from the relatively stable and hierarchical society of the Ancien Regime to a more fluid one produced by the industrial and democratic revolutions of the period. The main sources he uses are first-hand accounts of growing up: letters, diaries, childhood reminiscences and autobiographies. The book's first section considers cultural constructions of childhood and adolescence, and representations of growing up. The second considers the process of growing up among family and friends, the third the experience of moving out into the wider world, via education, work, political activity and marriage. This unique account will appeal to historians of childhood and adolescence, as well as social and cultural historians.


Review of the hardback: '... sensitive and insightful book ...
The Times Literary Supplement Review of the hardback:

'... this account of the process of growing up during a period of considerable change has much to offer.'
Local Population Studies Review of the hardback:

'Colin Heywood's new study is a major contribution to a reorientation of the historiography of childhood. ... By concentrating on how children felt about their experiences, Heywood has clearly made an enduring contribution not just to the historiography of childhood but also to a field that I would like to see receive more attention: the history of emotions.'


About the Author

Colin Heywood is Reader in Modern French History at the University of Nottingham. His previous publications include The Development of the French Economy, 1750-1914 (1995), and A History of Childhood in the West (2001).

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Book Info

Publication date

12th November 2009


Colin (University of Nottingham) Heywood

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Cambridge University Press


328 pages


European history
Early modern history: c 1450/1500 to c 1700
Social & cultural history



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