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Raising the Victorian Child

Amongst my illustrations there is a depiction of "The Tyrant of the Household" -- the baby! Victorians virtually invented the notion of baby worship and childhood innocence -- right along with workhouses and orphanages that we would recognize from Oliver Twist.


I've arranged this section chronologically to illustrate the evolution of ideas in child-care.

How to Wash and Dress the Baby, by Ruth Lamb (GOP 1881)
In the first years of The Girl's Own Paper, the editors could not seem to decide whether this was a publication for young girls or young women, so this article focuses extensively on how "young nurses" (i.e., a baby's older sisters) could help care for an infant.
A New Departure in Education; Or, The Child: What Will She Become? by Alfred T. Schofield, M.D., Chairman of the Parents' National Educational Union (GOP 1893)
A lengthy and somewhat technical treatise on the development of character in a child, with considerable discussion of how the brain develops. Useful to anyone interested in Victorian child-development theory!
The Evils of Hotel Life for Children (GOP 1893)
The perils of the "unwholesome life" of vacation resorts, and their ill-effects upon the children of the well-to-do.
Queen Baby and Her Wants/Needs, by Mrs. Lina Orman Cooper (GOP 1897)
A nice overview of childcare, including helpful products, patterns for garments, and how to tend a variety of illnesses.
The King's Daughters: Their Culture and Care, by Mrs. Lina Orman Cooper (GOP 1898)
A follow-up to the preceding series on babies; this addresses the needs of young children (not babies), in the areas of clothing, health, and character development.


Be Warned in Time! Or, Walking the Hospital with "The New Doctor," by "The New Doctor" (GOP 1898)
The warning is about the serious consequences that can arise from neglecting a seemingly trifling "ear affection" -- a problem that will surely resonate with parents today!
Indigestion, by "The New Doctor" (GOP 1898)
Another grim statistic: "The majority of deaths under a year old is due to wrong feeding." The author goes on to note, "Some people have the most extraordinary notions of the value of infants' lives; some do not consider the death of a baby as anything serious!"
The Little Misses Miserable, by Gordon Stables, M.D., R.N. ("Medicus") (GOP 1893)
Tips on rearing delicate children.
Rheumatism in the Young, by Gordon Stables, M.D., R.N. ("Medicus") (GOP 1885)
Will She Grow Out of It?, by Gordon Stables, M.D., R.N. ("Medicus") (GOP 1899)
On some childhood ailments.


How to Amuse Children (GOP 1881)
How to make a sailor doll, a model building, a model house, and a marbles game.
The Children's Day, by The Rev. Henry Bradley, MA (GOP 1891)
In London in the summertime, those who live near the rails become accustomed to seeing the "specials" go by -- trainloads of city children being taken to a day-long excursion in the country. This article explores their amusements and how to handle a "children's day in the country."
How to Make a Paper Box (GOP 1881)
Occupations for Children, by Dora Hope (GOP 1883)
A variety of easy and inexpensive craft projects to keep one's younger siblings entertained.
Red Letter Days (GOP 1890)
A three-day "Christmas party" set up by the London school board to entertain children during the Christmas holidays.


A Few Questions Asked and Answered, by Gordon Stables, M.D., R.N. ("Medicus") (GOP 1886)
This article looks chiefly at the education of children -- and suggests that it is often not done well.
A Girls' Examination in Scriptural Knowledge (GOP 1881)
"The following specimens of schoolgirls' answers to examination papers on Scriptural knowledge are given by one of Her Majesty's inspectors of schools..."
The Kindergarten, by Dora Hope (GOP 1883)
With the opening of Kindergartens in so many of our towns, says this author, the tearful woes of starting school are transformed to eagerness and delight.
The Obligations of School Life, by S.F.A. Caulfield (GOP 1885)
What young girls can expect when going to boarding school.
School Luncheons, by Phillis Browne (GOP 1887)
By 1887, school hours had changed so that younger children remained at school in the morning and afternoon, with no meals provided. This article describes how to prepare appropriate bag lunches for young students.
School-Day Reminiscences (GOP 1891)
Reminiscences of a young lady educated in Canada and in Germany.
Sloyd (GOP 1889)
A Swedish system of handwork in schools, aimed at "making children handy, and giving them a liking and respect for manual work; at developing activity; at encouraging attention, industry, and perseverance; at training the eye and the sense of form; at fostering cleanliness, neatness and accuracy."


Baby's Frock (GOP 1896)
Baby's First Shoe from Old Kid Gloves (GOP 1898)
Child's Pinafore (GOP 1897)
Child's Washing Hood (GOP 1898)
Embroidered Flannel Baby Carriage Coverlid (GOP 1899)
Infant's Flannel Jacket (GOP 1897)
Infant's Hem-Stitched Shirt (GOP 1898)
Knitted Baby Shoe(GOP 1900)
Knitted Dress for Baby (GOP 1890)
Nursery Needlework (GOP 1891)
Woollen Nursery Ball (GOP 1881)

Copyright © 2018 by
Moira Allen.
All rights reserved.

Magazine Abbreviations:
CFM = Cassell's Family Magazine GOP = Girl's Own Paper ILA = Illustrated London Almanack S = The Strand
AM = Atlantic Monthly C = Century Magazine D = Demorest's Monthly Magazine G = Godey's Lady's Book H = Harper's Monthly
Find out more about the magazines used on this site!
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