This chapter assesses the historiography of childhood, family, masculinity, and femininity where it relates to mothers and fathers. It then sets out a new research agenda intended to open up the world of parents in the long eighteenth century. This takes an updated ‘history of sensibilities’ approach, which recognises that different structures of beliefs, values, feelings, sense and taste mark different eras and peoples. The chapter details the wide array of primary sources used, from print culture, to visual culture to autobiographies and correspondence. It explains that the terms in which literate British parents experienced the world of parenting in the period 1760–1830 were rooted in three cultural frameworks: Christianity, sensibility, and domesticity.
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