11.2 The Discovery of Childhood

Her Half of History

Childhood doesn’t sound like it needs discovering, right? Surely everyone, up to and including a large number of animal species, are aware of children. But the historical record does not really agree with you on that. Ancient biographies tend to start at adulthood. Apparently nothing interesting happened before that, even to very interesting people. Historians have called the ages zero to seven “the silent years” because we have so little information. Today’s episode is a look at how we got from there to the obsessively documented kids of today.

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