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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars family life throughout the years
What parent hasn't given advice to their children, chastised them, encouraged them, consoled them? This has been done through the ages, and undoubtedly will continue for unknown time to come. Often it may be difficult to find the right words to express your thoughts or impress the young one, which is why it's both enlightening and fun to read what comments parents have...
Published on 18 Nov. 2009 by Gail Cooke

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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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5.0 out of 5 stars Moving, informative and funny anthology, 26 Sept. 2010
By 
Caterina (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 isn't the sort of book you're going to sit down and read in one go. But every time I dip into it I am surprised by how entertaining and interesting it is. It is an anthology of extracts from letters and diaries, from the Paston letters onwards, with sections on pregnancy, birth, nursing, childhood, adolescence, grown up children, and the death of children (rather upsetting). Each section has a very brief introduction and each letter/diary entry is preceded by a couple of lines of editorial comment - rather wry but sensible in tone. It is fascinating and moving - revealing both the similar dilemmas and difficulties (battles over clothes, worries about health and behaviour, offers to bake "pye" for students) that parents have faced over across the centuries, and the differences (high childhood mortality, "thrashings"). Often the events described in it cast new light on the many benefits of modern life that we take for granted. It is fair to say that it is a reflective book so may not satisfy those who like books where things "happen". But if you are, or are looking for a present for, a fond and literate parent or grandparent with an interest in history and in personal relationships, it is likely to be very rewarding.
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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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4.0 out of 5 stars Charm and Interest, 17 Feb. 2010
By 
Lewis Graham "lewisgraham" (East Anglia) - 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 an ideal bedside book for the reader seeking a gentle journey through parenting. The selection is varied and covers several centuries.Some of the earliest texts have been changed to modern English but some 17th century texts are as written, which can make for a challenging read.

It would be a cliche to say that nothing has changed: the stages of pregnancy and babyhood are the same, but the text gives some insight into the times forced on parents of an earlier age. Sending a child away to school is imaginable; watching your son, barely 18 and with poor eyesight march to the trenches of the first world war is not.

Moments before I went through to the operating theatre where my wife was having our first child by C-section, the theatre sister asked if I was ready - I replied "To be a parent? Not in a thousand years". Reading this anthology brings to life the challenge and joy (in varying proportion) of parenthood.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love to the little ones, 19 Mar. 2010
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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 Interesting social history, 28 Dec. 2009
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M. Harrison - 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 recent 'Private Lives' series on Radio 4 showed what an appetite many of us have for social history, the kind of little details of our ancestors' lives that shed such interesting light on our own. This collection of diary entries, letters etc concerns parenting, and will be of interest to historians and parents alike. Some extracts are more interesting than others, naturally, and the page design (and cover!) could have done more to make the book appear accessible, but on the whole it's a worthwhile record of childcare down the ages - how much has stayed the same, and how much has changed. Consider Sir Philip Sidney's advice in 1565 to his eleven-year-old son: "Seldom drink wine, and yet sometimes do, lest, being enforced to drink upon the sudden, you should find yourself enflamed...". It's hardly the line the government these days wants us to take, but some will say it makes sense!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Mildly interesting but nothing more than a christmas stocking filler, 25 Jan. 2010
By 
J. Brand "jbrand" (Somewhere else) - 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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There's not really a great deal to say about a book like this. It does exactly what it promises and collects together a range of comments from people about parenting through various eras but beyond that it really doesn't add anything. Yes some of the comments are interesting but there's no way to know whether they are typical or atypical of their period of history. Even Louisa Fox admits her examples are inevitably biased as it is by and large only the affluent who recorded their experiences so it is far from representative of what the great mass of people experienced.

Of course having said that she never promised anything more so it's not entirely fair to criticise on that basis. This is sort of a christmas stocking filler for Guardian readers. It's mildly diverting, it's interesting in that it looks at society in the past but there's no real thread running through this.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A little glimpse into the past, 20 Feb. 2010
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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 charming anthology, which will take you through time and show you just how universal parenthood is. Compiled of extracts of people exploring and sharing their ideas of pregnancy, babies, adolescents and so on, this is a lovely book to dip into. At times it may be saddening, bring joy, have concepts that you can relate to and just offer up a real insight to one of the most magical experiences on the planet. A very frank book, you can feel the real people behind each extract featured, and we also get to know about them with an introduction telling us about the persons life. This is just like a time capsule from the past and takes us up to more modern times, showing that maybe the idea of raising children has not changed so much after all.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Delightfully quirky!, 11 Feb. 2010
By 
LittleReader (Leeds, 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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I really enjoyed this little book. Crammed full of memoirs it's a journey through pregnancy to adulthood as seen through the eyes of parents. Some famous, some not so famous, I was enchanted...
I could find little to dislike about this book to be honest but I think that the editor left little to the imagination by 'giving away' in the introductions to the chapters what was contained in the excerpts that followed and this was a shame, I stopped reading the introductions until after Id read the quotes/letters/tales and was much happier!
Essentially, this is about love and family and even those without children can relate to that so this will most definately be getting given to friends as a gift this year.
Hugely enjoyable...
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4.0 out of 5 stars ...a delightful anthology..., 28 Jan. 2010
By 
Mr. H "Mr H" (Embra) - 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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A compendium of writings from over the years, lifting extracts from the lives of the famous and the not so famous, this goes to show how little has changed over the years.

Using diaries and extracts from letters, from the likes of Oscar Wilde and Rudyard Kipling, it's an ideal dipper in of a book, especially for those new to the family game.

It's not all sweetness and light, as parents from throughout our history are more than happy to let rip about the antics of their offspring. It's not something you'll want to read in one sitting, but keep it handy for regular delights.
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