„’weep!’weep!“ – Schornsteinfegerkinder in der britischen Literatur des Langen 19. Jahrhunderts

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"'weep!’weep!“ – Chimney Sweep Children in British Literature of the Long 19th Century: As one of the social ills generated by the Industrial Revolution, child labour took various forms, but from the late 18th century onwards the child chimney sweep in particular became a symbol of inhumane treatment. The almost slave-like conditions in which the children worked made them the object of pity and social reform efforts, and the subject of literary works. This article focusses on British works of the long 19th century: William Blake’s “The Chimney Sweeper” poems published in Songs of Innocence (1789) and Songs of Experience (1794), moving indictments of the systematic cruelty and exploitation of poor children, and The Water-Babies (1863) by Charles Kingsley, a literary fantasy for children that attempts to reconcile the Christian doctrine of redemption with Darwin’s theory of evolution. It is credited with having eased the passage of the Chimney Sweepers Regulation Act of 1864; closer examination shows that the novel is not as socially progressive as it was long taken to be.
Original languageGerman
Title of host publicationDas ganze Leben – Repräsentationen von Arbeit in Texten über Kindheit und Jugend
EditorsCaroline Roeder, Christine Lötscher
Number of pages16
Place of PublicationBerlin, Heidelberg
PublisherJ.B. Metzler
Publication date01.01.2022
ISBN (Print)978-3-662-65408-8
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-662-65409-5
Publication statusPublished - 01.01.2022