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Children and Cheap Print from a Transnational Perspective

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Elisa MarazziORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Brill, 2021.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


From their earliest existence cheap printed texts were intended to be read by a mixed-age audience, young people included. Research on children’s literature has flourished in the last decades, nonetheless the role that cheap and ephemeral print played in early modern children’s lives has been largely overlooked.Based on both existing literature and new research in various European areas, this article asks how, where, and when a market for a distinctively children’s cheap print took shape and how transnational this phenomenon was. It demonstrates that children were avid consumers of cheap print even before they were openly addressed to in titlepages and paratexts, and that a market for them developed at different paces in early modern European countries. In some areas, books for children were produced even before the so-called birth of modern children’s literature. Furthermore, this essays shows how the evolution of printing techniques and especially the introduction of colour changed this market, making a wider range of printed products more widely affordable by juvenile audiences as well as more appealing to young eyes.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Carnelos L, Marazzi E

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Quaerendo

Year: 2021

Volume: 51

Issue: 1-2

Pages: 189-215

Print publication date: 01/05/2021

Online publication date: 07/05/2021

Acceptance date: 01/02/2021

Date deposited: 17/05/2021

ISSN (print): 0014-9527

ISSN (electronic): 1570-0690

Publisher: Brill


DOI: 10.1163/15700690-12341487


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