One of the earliest and strictest lessons to the children of the house being how to turn the pages of their own literary possessions lightly and deliberately, with no chance of tearing or dog’s ears.

—John Ruskin, preface to Sesame and Lilies

And my ambition now is (is it a vain one?) to be read by Children aged from Nought to Five. To be read? Nay, not so! Say rather to be thumbed, to be cooed over, to be dogs’-eared, to be rumpled, to be kissed, by the illiterate, ungrammatical, dimpled Darlings, that fill your Nursery with merry uproar, and your inmost heart of hearts with a restful gladness!

—Lewis Carroll, preface to The Nursery “Alice”

(Source: Turn the Leaves and Use Them Well. The joys of experiencing Victorian children’s books as physical objects. By Hannah Field)


I mirrored many of these texts in from in order to be able to insert tags into the files for referencing.


Sources for checking quotes:

2018-10-20, update: 2024-04-22

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