Ladybird ends gender specific publication

If, like me, you are from one of the generations who learned to read with Ladybird books telling stories of Peter and Jane, you probably have fond memories of Ladybird books. That they perpetuated an almost mythic world of small town, middle class family England may, or may not, be part of what you love about them.

However, they are moving with the times and are removing from their publication lists (or rather re-branding in non-gender specific ways) the last few titles that have hitherto been targeted at one or other gender, such as Favourite Fairy Tales for Girls.

In Trollopian times such a move would have seemed absurd.  After all, as Trollope so ably chronicled, women’s and men’s spheres were very different and separate. The expectations of women were severely constrained compared to now.  For the middle class women it was all about the marriage game and the price of failure was high and lifelong. So it is likely that Trollope would have been bemused by this development but the commercially savvy author would have recognised the need to respond to changing markets..


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