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Popular Reading and Publishing in Britain 1914–1950$
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Joseph McAleer

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780198203292

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198203292.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 October 2021

‘We Must Prevent the Leakage’: Children’s Reading Habits

‘We Must Prevent the Leakage’: Children’s Reading Habits

(p.133) 5 ‘We Must Prevent the Leakage’: Children’s Reading Habits
Popular Reading and Publishing in Britain 1914–1950

Joseph McAleer

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers the reading habits of children and adolescents between the ages of ten and sixteen. It examines what they read, how far what they read was determined by social class, and why they read it. Two curious and somewhat neglected phenomena are also discussed: the marked inclination of girls to read boys' literature and for children and adolescents to read adult literature. The latter point is vital in establishing a possible link between the tastes of the young and the old among the lower-middle and working classes. The chapter states that both boys and girls, moreover, shared their parents' affection for light adult fiction. Children's magazines or ‘bloods’ were shaped by these tastes. A desire for new and exciting material favoured D. C. Thomson's lively blend of science fiction and international settings.

Keywords:   reading habits, children, social class, adult literature, light adult fiction, bloods, D. C. Thomson, science fiction

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