Maxine Branagh, PhD in Book History 2014-2017

March 6th, 2015 | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Maxine Branagh, PhD in Book History 2014-2017


Maxine BranaghWorking Title: The Scottish Child Reader in the Long Eighteenth Century: A Comparison of the Expectations and Experience of Young Readers in the Wake of the Scottish Enlightenment

Topic: The eighteenth century saw the invention of marketable, commercialised literature specifically aimed at children. I will be investigating this development in a specifically Scottish context, and will explore the following questions: What were the perceived educational, spiritual and developmental needs of Scottish child readers? How did writers of both imaginative and didactic literature attempt to address those needs? Which texts did Scottish children actually read during the long eighteenth century? How did they perceive those texts? Did the new children’s literature promote literacy? Did(and do) the expectations of (adult) writers and child readers ever really match up? Through a discussion of the legacy of Scottish Enlightenment thinking (particularly on the nature of’useful knowledge’) on ideas about reading and education, I will explore the differences in reading and education between Scotland and the rest of Britain.

Research Interests: The Long Eighteenth Century, Book History, History of Reading, Children’s Literature, History of Childhood, Scottish Enlightenment, Romanticism



Conference Papers:

  • “The iron grasp of adversity”: Suffering and didacticism in the novels of Mary Brunton, presented at University of Stirling Arts and Humanities Postgraduate Conference, May 2014

Twitter: @maxinebranagh