Bianca Premo’s engaging and important study of childhood “as it was both lived and imagined” in colonial Lima (p. 2) operates on two levels: it is both a history of actual children and childhood, and it is about generational relations as a metaphor of colonial rule. According to Premo, these two threads of inquiry are entangled, for “the social history of children . . . cannot be separated from . . . the overarching political ideology that bound colonial subjects to the Spanish Father King” (p. 15).

Premo’s study yields a number of interesting empirical findings. Amid ideologies of racial and corporate separateness, households were characterized by striking “caste diversity” (p. 50). Indeed, domestic realities diverged widely from the “ideal typical patriarchal family” insofar as nonpatriarchs — including widows, wet nurses, and artisans — routinely performed the everyday work of rearing the city’s...

You do not currently have access to this content.