The Introduction summarises the book’s main arguments, provides definitions of key terms, sets out the parameters of the study, and situates the research in its wider historiographical context. It also provides a substantial discussion of the book’s methodology, identifying the types of primary material used in the analysis, and the various limitations and challenges presented by these sources. These include the problems of deducing the child’s experience from the words of adults, the religious and socio-economic biases of the sources, and the complicating issues of censorship, literary convention, and reader reception.
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