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32 Reviews
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ideal to read slowly
This book, a collection of letters, diaries, memoirs and essays by parents through the ages is not to be swallowed whole but rather savoured over some time.

It is entertaining, amusing, saddening and perhaps humbling to parents and grandparents and even to those yet to become parents - though it is possible that adolescents may find their rebellions and...
Published on 13 Jan 2010 by Blake Paine

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars listen, repeat, understand...listen, repeat, understand....
I really didn't enjoy this as much as other reviewers or as much as I'd thought I would.

Firstly the introduction - five pages, was too much. It quoted many of the later quotes which the authour has picked as I guess her favourites out of a book of her favourite quotes.

Then throughout the book each and every quote is preceeded by an explination. I...
Published on 31 Jan 2010 by Mad Saint Uden


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3.0 out of 5 stars An intriguing miscellany, 8 Sep 2010
By 
John Wilson (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Love to the Little Ones: The Trials and Triumphs of Parents Through the Ages in Letters, Diaries, Memoirs and Essays (Hardcover)
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This is certainly not the kind of book to read from cover to cover. I did try that but, finding the confection altogether too sweet, made slow progress. Howevr, when dipped into, over a period of a few weeks, and consumed in manageable bites, one finds delightful anecdotes and tales of parenthood in days gone by. This book is an education in parenthood which brings together those born generations apart.

Strange though it may seem there remains a debate about whether or ancestors, used to a life filled with misery, suffering and premature death, could have felt the way we do for our children. Surely, if they did then their lives would be truly miserable? This book puts that theory fully to the test - and for one who has always been just so slightly undecided, I cannot deny that I was moved on more than one occasion. That the death and suffering of children was all too common did not make the loss any easier to bear. (Look at how Charles Darwin was affected by the death of his dear daughter.)

So the book succeeds in showing the tenderness, humour, passion and tragedy of yesterday's parents were more than equal to our own. Indeed the intensity of feeling here in many extracts is almost alien when set next to our safe and sterile world in the affluent West.

Anyone who is excited by (re)discovering our common humanity with those who have gone before will find much to enjoy in this fine anthology.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Illuminating, 22 July 2010
By 
Stuart Burns (Liverpool, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Love to the Little Ones: The Trials and Triumphs of Parents Through the Ages in Letters, Diaries, Memoirs and Essays (Hardcover)
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Not being a parent myself, I don't yet have much of an idea of the trials someone might go through in crafting another human being. This is historical collection demonstrates beautifully that actually everyone's experience is different and no one has easy answers. Which is perfect.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful collection, 25 Jun 2010
By 
Benjamin J. Whitehouse "Book geek" (Wrexham, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Love to the Little Ones: The Trials and Triumphs of Parents Through the Ages in Letters, Diaries, Memoirs and Essays (Hardcover)
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This is a delightful collection of letters, diaries, by various parents through history.

Other reviews have hinted at the need to not sit down and read cover to cover but rather to dip in and out.

I was reluctant to give it away as a gift.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A sentimental tear-jerker, 17 Jun 2010
By 
Ray Blake (Hemel Hempstead, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Love to the Little Ones: The Trials and Triumphs of Parents Through the Ages in Letters, Diaries, Memoirs and Essays (Hardcover)
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My wife read this first and if her little sniffles and wails are anything to go by, it was an emotional experience. It was less so for me, although there were some smiles to be found lurking. I agree with other reviewers that there is too much commentary here, both in the introduction and individual positioning pieces. However, as someone who abhors books of quotations, I found this refreshingly interesting since it goes beyond the out-of-context-extract approach those books normally adopt.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, a nice gift, 27 May 2010
By 
Laura Smith (Manchester, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Love to the Little Ones: The Trials and Triumphs of Parents Through the Ages in Letters, Diaries, Memoirs and Essays (Hardcover)
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This is a nice little anthology packed with lots of interesting memories and essays. Great for anyone with kids, there is something for everyone to relate to. Would make a great gift.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Dull, Dull, Dull, 13 April 2010
By 
Graeme Stewart "echosnare" (Glasgow) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Love to the Little Ones: The Trials and Triumphs of Parents Through the Ages in Letters, Diaries, Memoirs and Essays (Hardcover)
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I ordered this at the behest of my better half, as she was intriqued by the product description, but boy, was she disappointed. A handsome looking tome, but that is where the interest ends. I dipped in for a read after my wife gave up, and I have to agree, that it is a pretty turgid collection. Definitely not light reading.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A heartwarming testament to parenthood, 12 April 2010
By 
S. J. Mitchell (Surrey, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Love to the Little Ones: The Trials and Triumphs of Parents Through the Ages in Letters, Diaries, Memoirs and Essays (Hardcover)
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The book is neatly divided into chapters; pregnancy, birth, childhood and then on up to adolescence an grown up children. This was surprising as, given the title, I expected it to deal solely with small children. Each chapter contains contributions from various people throughout the ages, both well known names and 'ordinary' people. With passages written as early as the 15th century it was interesting to see that feelings towards pregnancy and birth really haven't changed that much. 500 years ago women felt fat and frumpy, had nothing to wear and were apprehensive about impending labour. OK, stating the obvious maybe but we think we have moved on so far and really, we haven't at all. Diary entries from a young pregnant girl in the 1950's however, show that we have progressed enormously in some ways though.

I expected this to be a small book and actually it's quite substantial so in theory you could sit and read it right through but given the nature of the contributions, it jumps around between contributors and centuries so much that it would be hard going to attempt in one. But is a lovely read, and as a relatively new parent the stories hit home a lot.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love to the little ones, 19 Mar 2010
By 
Mr. Di Zendle "Piping hot potato!" (Potato, Potato) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Love to the Little Ones: The Trials and Triumphs of Parents Through the Ages in Letters, Diaries, Memoirs and Essays (Hardcover)
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The Good

Really interesting

Contains extracts from essays, letters and journals stretching from 1200s to present day.

There's a great variety of descriptions of experience of parenthood

The extracts are chronologically which makes it easy to read parts from a time you're interested in.

The book features extracts from famous people as well as 'regular' people's, giving the reader extremely exciting insights into the lives of legendary characters.

The book is really nicely presented.

The Bad

Each extract starts with an introduction, which are very informative but sometimes much longer than the extract itself.

Frequently extracts seem too short and their introductions too long. Sometimes extracts are only 4 or 5 lines long.

You might think it would be a good present for an expectant parent, but it's not - there are plenty of frightening moments, especially concerning pregnancy and childbirth.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Parenting trials throughout the ages. Surprisingly readable., 12 Mar 2010
By 
B. Yeoh - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Love to the Little Ones: The Trials and Triumphs of Parents Through the Ages in Letters, Diaries, Memoirs and Essays (Hardcover)
I wasn't expecting to be gripped by this, but perhaps to read a few aphorisms or anecdotes that would amuse. However, as a new parent with an almost one year old baby, it proved fascinating to look back at how parents' attitudes have or haven't changed over the ages. The tales are slightly more than anecdotes and give you a flavour of the long running debate epitomised today by routine / Gina Ford babies vs more Miriam Stoppard / let babies develop at their own pace; which actually has been a debate running past parents for hundreds of years!

The letters and observations are charming and touching and will ring a chord with parents. Perhaps not one to read in one sitting but to dip in and out of. Those who are not that interested in children or family (at the moment!) probably won't find the book as interesting; it's a truism that you don't understand what your parents went through until you become a parent yourself.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as I'd hoped, 2 Mar 2010
By 
Sukie (South Coast) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Love to the Little Ones: The Trials and Triumphs of Parents Through the Ages in Letters, Diaries, Memoirs and Essays (Hardcover)
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I thought this sounded a great idea for a book - a collection of excerpts from diaries, letters and essays through the ages, all on the subject of parenting. With chapters split into subject themes such as 'In the beginning' (pregnancy, birth and nursing), childhood, the adolescent years etc, and featuring contributors as famous and varied as John Donne, Daniel Defoe, Rudyard Kipling, Virginia Woolf, and a number of royals, I was looking forward to cosying up with this book and enjoying all the wit and wisdom it contained.

Unfortunately, and this is going to sound very shallow, I was somewhat disappointed by the 'look' of the book when it arrived. I think the cover is very dull, and the design inside is even less inspiring. And then, when I started reading, I was irritated (like other reviewers on this page) by the editor's introductions to each quotation - she interprets them for us, often completely pre-empting what the writer in question says. I found myself wishing she'd only provided an intro when the context demanded it, and left the others for us to read without her comments. As for the content of the excerpts, there are some fantastic lines and pieces of advice that made me laugh, or shocked me, but not all are of this quality, and some are downright dull.

So yes, it is a nice collection to dip into, but I think it could have been better presented, and perhaps included more modern writers, too.
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