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Notes and Reflections on Books and Media

by Hannah Leitheiser

Leading String


Jean Jacques Rousseau




"Emile shall have no head-pads, no go-carts, no leading-strings; or at least as soon as he can put one foot before another he shall only be supported along pavements, and he shall be taken quickly across them." - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

The 1700's seem to be a period of greater concern for child safety. (The go-cart is the wicker basket thingy.). Rousseau takes a more conservative perspective, wanting less of this, which goes back to earlier periods. Mothers don't tend to write much that survives about the mundanes of the early years of their children, but some have analyzed coroners reports to try to gain insight into childcare going back to the Middle Ages, and it seems there was often a level of neglect that would now be criminal.