Andersen Press Ltd Anderson Press publish picture books of approximately words 1K maxjuvenile fiction of K and older fiction of up to 75K.
Such figures often feature in children's literature, for propagandistic or less stridently didactic purposes. These solitary pilgrims or wayward souls were useful in the development of individual narratives, and also contributed to the development of the genre as a whole. Britain may have been at the top of its hour, but life for most of her citizens was much more precarious than it is now.
Mothers often died in or following childbirth, leading Sir William Farr, the superintendent of statistics at the General Registry Office in London, to ponder "the deep, dark, continuous stream of mortality attendant on it," and admit even in the '70s that "there is great room for improvement" Young men in the prime of life could be carried away as well, especially when the great epidemics swept through the overcrowded and insanitary areas of the industrial cities.
Consequently, Laurence Stone estimates, "half of all children would have lost one parent before completing adolescence" Many a young brood was left without any support at all. The luckiest were taken in by other branches of their family, with various degrees of willingness.
Others were deposited in orphanages. But these were overflowing; even their waiting lists were full. As Allan Woodcourt finds in Bleak Houseit was easier to dispose of an ownerless dog than an orphaned child Ch.
Coram's Foundling Hospital in London, for example, was forced to turn away as many five out of every six destitute children brought to its doorstep during this period McClure What remained for many was the hated workhouse, where 13, orphans and deserted children were recorded in the Census Peters 7 — or the harsh freedom of the streets, for which figures can only be guessed at.
Here, the strongest managed to survive by whatever means they could, contributing to the race of half-savage children, street arabs, street urchins, mudlarks, and guttersnipes — filthy, ragged, lying, cursing, and hungry, roaming singly or in packs like young wolves, snatching stealing, stone-throwing, destructive, brutish, and cruel when not merely hopeless and lost.
Such children could be and often were dangerous, especially when exploited by hardened criminals; they were a threat to law and order, their wretched lives a blot on the scutcheon of the times. Highly emotive figures are useful in literature, and, proportionately, there are even more orphans on the pages of Victorian fiction than there were on the streets.
Focusing on a young character's lack of parents could pull in the reader's sympathy at once. An outstanding example of this in children's literature is when Tom, the chimney sweep in Charles Kingsley's The Water-Babiesstands wistfully in front of a picture in Harthover House of "a man in long garments, with little children and their mothers around him, who was laying his hands upon the children's heads" Ch.
Tom likes the picture, but he cannot "read" it: Kingsley speaks to the child reader's imagination through Tom's fantastic underwater adventures; but this reference at the beginning, to Jesus blessing the children brought to him by their mothers, is clearly for adults.
Children should be spiritually nurtured, he reminds them, not cruelly exploited. The message got through. The story of the dirty little sweep thirsting for redemption pricked the general conscience so painfully that the Chimney Sweepers' Regulation Act went through within the year — although the three Chimney Sweeps' Bills of the previous decade had all been defeated.* UPDATED JUNE * You can't get published without an agent, and you can't get an agent without being published - or so the adage goes.
Thankfully, there are still a few children's book publishers who are happy to wade through the 'slush pile', that teetering tower of manuscripts we imagine fill up a.
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