Evolution of rhymes and fables in England through the Victorian era: From religion to politics




Coker, Janis

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



The central theme of this thesis is the evolution of nursery rhymes from religion to politics by the Victorian Era aided by political advocate, William Godwin. Godwin, inspired by Isaac Watts' secular writings, used children's literature to express his political messages, created an audience ready for more.

With the thesis established the main text was divided into four divisions. They included: a brief history of rhymes prior to 1600's, a critical analysis of both children writers Isaac Watts' and William Godwin, and a summary of the social, political, and religious influences prevalent in Victorian England.

Research materials consisted of books, journals, newspapers, letters, and manuscripts, which dealt with nursery rhymes, critical analyses of rhymes, and nineteenth-century history. Comparison of these sources to original rhymes helped to expose any relationships. An interpretation was given once the data assured a direct link between the rhymes and the historical event or fact.



William Godwin, 19th century history, Critical analysis