Beloved Children

History of Childhood in Hungary in the Early Modern Age
$50.00 / €45.00 / £40.00
Publication date: 
270 pages, 5 illustrations

Drawing on evidence from a wide collection of surviving family papers, Beloved Children is a valuable contribution to literature available concerning childhood history in pre-industrial Central Europe.

With the aid of detailed case studies, the volume illustrates every aspect of Hungarian childhood in the early modern age from a variety of contrasting perspectives—birth, care, education, marriage, orphanhood and death. The book also includes a unique portrayal of family life in the Hungarian aristocracy.

Beloved Children is a comprehensive study examining topics such as family intimacy, paternal and maternal attitudes, providing the reader with a valuable insight into a child’s life in Hungary during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Katalin Péter: The first ten years of the children


How they were begotten           

Physical and social forms of family-planning  

Expecting the child  

The child is born  

Boys and girls  

Mothers and fathers  

Health and education  

Illness and death  


Ildikó Horn: Orphans of noble birth


What it meant to be an orphan  

The last will  



Fully orphaned  

Widowed mothers and their children  



What it meant being an orphan after all 


István Fazekas: Count Ádám Batthyány I, and his children


At the baronial court  

Expecting babies  

At the school of the Jesuits at Sopron  

Secondary school in Graz  

Kristóf Batthyány's travels abroad  

The younger Batthyány  

The subsequent career of the Batthyány brothers  


Judit Fejes: The marriage policy of the Esterházy family after the death of Palatine Miklós


The founder of the dynasty  

The palatine's household  

The fathers principles concerning education  

Building a dynasty  

Keeping the family together  

Esterházy's inheritance   

The execution of the palatine's testament  

László Esterházy's marriage  

The marriage of Mária Esterházy  

The secret marriage of Pál and Orsolya  

Preserving the wealth of the family  

The marriage of the youngest brother  

"Aristocratic Hungarian childhood is a welcome addition to the rapidly expanding international field of children's history. This collection... beckons the English-speaking reader into a little-known, but fascinating world."
"This well-translated and entertaining book addresses several issues central to the history of childhood and the family in western Europe and the United States. It is a work well suited to teaching purposes even at the introductory level and should grace any good library collection on European history."
"A refreshing and useful addition to English-language literature on early modern Hungary, bringing the reader close to individuals whose lives would otherwise be lost in obscurity."