The Invention Of Childhood

History series, presented by children's writer Michael Morpurgo, exploring a thousand years of British childhood.

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Episodes

SeriesEpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
RepeatedComments
01The Grave And The Cradle2006092520100503 (BBC7)
20120416 (BBC7)
20131111 (BBC7)
20160613 (BBC7)
20160614 (BBC7)

How the arrival of Christianity and the Norman Conquest affected British children's lives.

Michael Morpurgo explores a thousand years of British childhood, the arrival of Christianity and the Norman Conquest.

How the arrival of Christianity and the Norman Conquest affected British children's lives.

How did the arrival of Christianity and the Norman Invasion affect the lives of British children?

Readers include Timothy West, Adam Godley and Anna Maxwell Martin

02The Skill Of The Goldsmith2006092620100504 (BBC7)
20120417 (BBC7)
20131112 (BBC7)
20160614 (BBC7)
20160615 (BBC7)

Michael Morpurgo wonders if medieval people recognised a phase of 'childhood'.

Michael Morpurgo wonders if medieval people recognised a phase of 'childhood', using clues from Britain's first childcare guru.

Did Medieval people recognise a separate phase called childhood or did they simply sees children as little adults? The arrival of Britain's first ever childcare guru provides some clues.

Readers include Timothy West and Adam Godley

03New Shoes With Red Thongs2006092720100505 (BBC7)
20120418 (BBC7)
20131113 (BBC7)
20160615 (BBC7)
20160616 (BBC7)

Michael Morpurgo unearths what medieval children got up to when left unattended.

What did medieval children get up to when left unattended? Michael Morpurgo unearths some vivid descriptions.

What did Medieval children actually get up to when left to their own devices? Michael finds some astonishingly vivid descriptions in coroners' reports and 'miracle literature'.

Readers include Timothy West and Sara Kestelman

04Mischief And Misrule2006092820100506 (BBC7)
20120419 (BBC7)
20131114 (BBC7)
20160616 (BBC7)
20160617 (BBC7)

Were medieval children permitted to play? Early football and Festivals of Misrule.

Were medieval children permitted to play? Michael Morpurgo learns about early football and about Festivals of Misrule.

Did Medieval children play like children today, and were they ever permitted to get totally out of control? Michael learns about early football and Festivals of Misrule.

Readers include Adam Godley, Timothy West and Sara Kestelman

05A Thousand Histories And Fables2006092920100507 BT=1515 (BBC7)
20100507 (BBC7)
20120420 (BBC7)
20131115 (BBC7)
20160617 (BBC7)
20160618 (BBC7)

The impact of printing and how it raised fears among adults that it corrupted children.

Michael Morpurgo learns about the impact of printing, and how it raised fears among adults that it was corrupting children.

The impact of printing - how it raised fears among adults that it was corrupting children.

Michael learns about the impact of printing on a society already hungry for books, and how - like all the new technologies to come - it raised fears among adults that it was corrupting children.

Readers include Adam Godley, Timothy West and Jack Blumenau.

12John Locke And Jean-jacques Rousseau2006101020100518 (BBC7)
20120501 (BBC7)
20131126 (BBC7)

The two 18th century philosophers, whose child-rearing ideas are influential to this day.

Michael Morpurgo tells the story of two great 18th century philosophers, whose child-rearing ideas are influential to this day.

Michael Tells The Story Of Two Great 18th Century Philosophers whose ideas about child-rearing are influential to this day.

Is it significant that Locke had no children himself and that Rousseau abandoned all of his to a Foundling hospital?

Readers include Timothy West, Gerard Mcdermott, Adam Godley and Sara Kestelman

13Dear Papa, Dear Mama2006101120100519 (BBC7)
20120502 (BBC7)
20131127 (BBC7)

The more informal upbringings of middle and upper-class children in the late 18th century.

Michael Morpurgo discovers how middle and upper-class children enjoyed more informal upbringings by the late 18th century.

By the later 18th Century, children of the middle and upper classes were beginning to enjoy more relaxed and informal modes of upbringing, as their happy letters home from school or holidays illustrate.

Readers include Philip Fox, Timothy West, Anna Maxwell Martin, Jack Blumenau.

16How I Wish I Were A Boy!2006101620100524 (BBC7)

Michael begins his exploration of childhood in the nineteenth century with a look at how middle class parents were beginning to separate their sons from too much female influence by sending them off to Public Schools.

Readers include Anna Maxwell Martin, Adam Godley, Sara Kestelman, Jessica Dunn and Jack Blumenau.

Michael Morpurgo discovers middle-class boys went to 19th century public schools as a shield from too much female influence.

How boys went to 19th century public schools as a shield from too much female influence.

20Habit Of Schooling2006102620100528 (BBC7)
20120511 (BBC7)

(20/30)

Michael Morpurgo discovers the reaction to the 1870 Forster Education Act - marking the start of compulsory education for all.

How the 1870 Forster Education Act marked the start of compulsory education for all.

25Charlie Chaplin Went To France To Teach The Ladies How To Dance2006102720100604 (BBC7)
20120518 (BBC7)

Michael Morpurgo discovers new forms of entertainment available for children in the first half of the 20th century.

27A Prison Or A Guardian2006103120100608 (BBC7)
20120522 (BBC7)
20131217 (BBC7)

Michael Morpurgo presents the story of the fight for children's rights in the second half of the 20th century.

The story of the fight for children's rights in the second half of the 20th century.

BBC7 title A Prison Or A Garden

The story of the fight for children's rights in the second half of the twentieth century.

Read by Timothy West, Adam Godley and Pax Baldwin.

28The Disappearance Of Childhood?2006110120100609 (BBC7)
20120523 (BBC7)

How the media and marketing have encroached on the young.

Read by Anna Maxwell Martin, Christopher Parkinson and Charis Taplin.

Michael Morpurgo examines how the media and marketing have encroached on the lives of children.

Examining how the media and marketing have encroached on the lives of children.

30 LASTReinventing Childhood2006110320100611 (BBC7)
20120525 (BBC7)
20131220 (BBC7)
20160722 (BBC7)
20160723 (BBC7)

Michael Morpurgo recalls the impact of adults on childhood down the centuries up to the present day.

Michael recalls the impact of adults on childhood down the centuries, while children have determinedly remained children.

Read by Sara Kestelman, Christopher Parkinson and Poppy Friar.

Recalling the impact of adults on childhood down the centuries up to the present day.

COMPILATION0111th To 16th Centuries20061224

Michael Morpurgo draws together the stories of medieval British childhood, exploring how the arrival of Christianity and the Norman Conquest, the Black Death and the introduction of printing affected children from the 11th to the early 16th centuries.

Read by Timothy West, Sara Kestelman, Anna Maxwell Martin and Adam Godley

COMPILATION0216th And 17th Centuries20061225

Michael Morpurgo looks at how children fared in the wake of the Protestant Reformation of the 16th Century; at the growing educational opportunities for boys and the diminishing chances for girls in the 17th Century; and the impact of the Poor Law on the most disadvantaged children of all.

COMPILATION0318th Century20061226

Pulling together the stories of British childhood in the 18th Century, Michael Morpurgo tells of the first Foundling Hospital, the impact of the philosophers and parenting gurus John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the battle between the Evangelicals and the Romantics over the nature and purpose of childhood, and the growth of a new phenomenon - pester power.

COMPILATION0419th Centuary20061227

In examining the history of British childhood in the 19th Century, Michael Morpurgo recalls the profound impact of the new Public Schools on both boys and girls from better-off backgrounds, while other children worked or were living on the streets, before the introduction of compulsory schooling for all in 1870.

COMPILATION0520th Century - First Half20061228

Moving into the first half of the 20th Century, Michael Morpurgo explores the impact of the Empire on childhood, and traces the surprising story of how three dreadful wars ultimately benefited British children.

COMPILATION06 LAST20th Century - Second Half20061229

Bringing his long story up to the present, Michael Morpurgo traces how the immense economic and cultural changes of the last 50 years have affected the lives of British children.

Should we expect the imminent disappearance of childhood, or will it go on reinventing itself?