Introduction: Small graves: histories of childhood, death and emotion

Katie Barclay*, Kimberley Reynolds

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This Introduction to Small Graves: Death, Emotion and Childhood in Premodern Europe surveys the historiographical background for this collection, discussing the rise of childhood studies and the history of emotion, and the literature around child death in Western Europe. It situates the collection’s chapters against this background, highlighting their contribution to this wider discussion, connections that emerge across the essays, the significant ways the collection has moved the field forward, and questions and areas for further research. It argues that applying history of emotions methodologies to the history of child death not only provides insight into how parents emotionally responded to this phenomenon, but to children’s position in society more broadly.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDeath, emotion and childhood in premodern Europe
EditorsKatie Barclay, Kimberley Reynolds, Ciara Rawnsley
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9781137571991
ISBN (Print)9781137571984
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NamePalgrave Studies in the History of Childhood
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISSN (Print)2634-6532
ISSN (Electronic)2634-6540


  • Child Death
  • Childhood Study
  • Dead Child
  • Early Modern Period
  • Good Death


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