The twelve prints entitled Industry and Idleness grew out of Hogarth's philanthropic concern for poor and abandoned children. He became a Governor of The Foundling Hospital for babies under two years old, when it was first established, by royal charter, in 1739. The babies were to be put out to a wet nurse, till they were three to five years old, when they would be brought back to London. They would then be taught to read, while the boys would be given training for apprenticeship, or the navy, and the girls for service. The hospital took in its first infants in March 1741. Hogarth continued to play an active role as a Governor, later designing uniforms for the children and a coat of arms for the hospital. Early on in the …
Gordon, Ian. "Industry and Idleness". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 June 2004; last revised 30 November -1.
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