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The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren (New York Review Books Classics) Paperback – August 31, 2000


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Product Details

  • Series: New York Review Books Classics
  • Paperback: 488 pages
  • Publisher: NYRB Classics (August 31, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0940322692
  • ISBN-13: 978-0940322691
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,184,160 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“The Opies, professors of literature and essentially folklorists, did something path-breaking: they observed children and took their play seriously…The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren reminds us that children are their own beings who create and navigate complicated social worlds, and the way they do so is worthy of respect and understanding.” —Hilary Levey Friedman, Brain, Child Magazine 

About the Author

Iona (born 1923) and Peter Opie (1918-1982) began their research together in 1944. Fifteen years later, they published The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren and took their places as, to quote The Guardian, "the supreme archivists of the folklore movement." Since that time, they have jointly published The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes, The Classic Fairy Tales, and Children's Game in Street and Playground. Since Peter Opie's death in 1982, Iona Opie has carried on with their work under his name as well as her own. Marina Warner is a writer of fiction, criticism, and history. Her award-winning studies of mythology and fairy tales include Alone of All Her Sex: The Myth and the Cult of the Virgin Mary, From the Beast to the Blonde, and No Go the Bogeyman. In 2006 she published Phantasmagoria: Spirit Visions, Metaphors, and Media, a study of ghosts, phantasms, and technology. Her most recent work of fiction is the novel The Leto Bundle. A Fellow of the British Academy, she is also Professor of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies at the University of Essex.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By "brianmclean" on September 21, 2003
Format: Paperback
Most of the material for this book was gathered fifty years ago in British schools, but I'm sure readers in all countries, for all time, will find it amusing and revealing. When I'd finished it, I felt I had a greater insight into children's minds and concerns, which they express, of course, in the games they play and the rhymes they say. I felt at the same time great respect for children. For unasked and unobserved, they have been keeping our traditions alive for us. Many of their dictums and ditties have changed little for hundreds of years. It seems that all the Barbies and Action Men and other expensive toys can't distract them from this valuable and enjoyable task of conservation.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jay Dickson VINE VOICE on October 14, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Collected in the 50s, the Opies' LORE AND LANGUAGE OF SCHOOLCHILDREN is a compelling compendium of a world very similar to that of the 21st century but not quite. Americans will be particularly fascinated by the slight differences in customs and games among children across the Atlantic, as the Opies catalogue nicknames, rhymes, games, tricks, and half-believed superstitions and spells. fascinating reading.
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By Peter on August 15, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
a classic piece of original research, very entertainingly written.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tom Connor on December 7, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For some reason I thought it would be the lore & language of American school kids, which I'm researching for a book, not British school children. But it's still interesting & extremely thorough.
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