Cautionary Tales for Children by Hilaire Belloc

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One of Hilaire Belloc's most famous works, "Cautionary Tales for Children" satirizes a genre of admonitory children's literature popular in England in the late 18th and 19th centuries. The seven stories contained in this work are macabre parodies of childhood lessons, and will entertain more sophisticated readers who can appreciate these tales of disproportionate punishment. Presented in a classic picture book style, illustrators have captured the foibles of children like Jim, who let go of his nurse's hand and was eaten by a lion; Matilda, who told lies, and was burned to death; and Henry King who swallowed string. The consequences range from naughty children being whimsically eaten by lions, to stern reprimands for a boy who fires a loaded gun at his sister. Originally written nearly a century ago, Belloc's sprightly verses are a quick and cathartic read for teenagers, and reflect a trend of literature that is still popular today.

About Hilaire Belloc

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\Hilaire Belloc began his academic career with a lecture tour of the United States in 1892. He became a member of the Fabian Society in the early 1900s and met George Bernard Shaw and H. G. Wells, who helped him obtain work with newspapers such as the Daily News and The Speaker. Eventually he became literary editor of the Morning Post. He was elected to the House of Commons in 1906. He also wrote several novels, such as Mr. Clutterbuck's Election and A Change in the Cabinet, along with historical works such as The French Revolution and History of England. Belloc also published a series of historical biographies: Oliver Cromwell, James II, Richelieu, Wolsey, Napoleon, and Charles II.
Published June 24, 2010 by 82 pages
Genres: Comics & Graphic Novels, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography, Young Adult, Literature & Fiction, History, Religion & Spirituality, Education & Reference, Children's Books, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Parenting & Relationships, Law & Philosophy. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Typically deadpan, previously unpublished scenes of Victorian ladies, gents, and children decorate seven of Belloc’s savage little ditties, including “Henry King, Who Chewed Bits Of String, And Was Early Cut Off In Dreadful Agonies,” “Jim, Who Ran Away From His Nurse, And Was Eaten By A Lion,” an...

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Publishers Weekly

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Schoolboy Jim is a cousin to the ill-fated urchins of Struwwelpeter and The Gashlycrumb Tinies.

Sep 06 2010 | Read Full Review of Cautionary Tales for Children

Entertainment Weekly

How natural for Edward Gorey, with his affinity for doomed little ones, to have illustrated Hilaire Belloc's 1907 spoof of Victorian morality, Cautionary Tales for Children.

Oct 30 2002 | Read Full Review of Cautionary Tales for Children

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