Abstract

Innovative entrepreneur and publisher John Newbery couples Lockean pedagogy and epistemology through the incorporation of physical objects in his didactic children's books. Newbery, like Locke, identifies interactivity as a key feature of "reading for understanding" and enables this kind of literary performance by engaging readers not just with language, but with things. This article argues that Newbery's attempt to promote moral behavior in his readers becomes radically efficacious through the "thereness" of the instructional object with the text, underscoring the complexity of the eighteenth-century reading act and its centrality to the critical interpretation of didactic fiction.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-315X
Print ISSN
0013-2586
Pages
pp. 223-244
Launched on MUSE
2011-01-23
Open Access
No
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