Modernising and moralising: Hachette’s mass-market fiction series for children, 1950s-1960s

Strenae. 2016;11 DOI 10.4000/strenae.1640


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Strenae

ISSN: 2109-9081 (Online)

Publisher: Association Française de Recherche sur les Livres et les Objets Culturels de l’Enfance (AFRELOCE)

LCC Subject Category: Language and Literature: Literature (General) | Social Sciences

Country of publisher: France

Language of fulltext: French

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML, XML



Sophie Heywood


Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 24 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

This article focuses on the editors and editorial pieceworkers (translators, adaptors, illustrators, correctors, and members of the reading committees) behind the production of two of France’s most famous series for children, the Bibliothèque Rose and the Bibliothèque Verte. Hachette’s cheap and luridly coloured cardboard-covered books for children that flooded the French market in the long sixties formed an important and yet overlooked component of what Sirinelli calls the ‘rejuvenation’ of French mass culture, when the young became an important new market. Using the extensive archives of Hachette’s children’s department, this essay analyses how the editors responded to the unprecedented growth and important structural changes that historians concur were taking place in the children’s publishing industry across the West in the post-war period. This novel approach, which draws upon the methodologies of the sociology of publishing and book history, asks what can the editors’ perspective teach us about this key period in children’s publishing history? What was their role in these processes of change?