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date: 06 July 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter presents a case study of the archaeology of a mid-nineteenth century school in Cambridge (England), placing the features associated with the school and the material associated with them in the wider context of children’s material culture, education, and the rapidly changing nature of nineteenth century childhood, considering the material culture that children interacted with in its totality, not just child-specific forms. This allows a nuanced interpretation of the material; revealing tensions between different ideas, such as gentility and frugality, plus the existence of multiple narratives, with various members of a household viewing items of material culture in distinct ways, and different assemblages revealing disparate materialities.

Keywords: childhood, Victorian, Cambridge, education, play, archaeology, school, garden

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