This collection offers the first definitive study of a surprisingly underdeveloped area of scholarly investigation, namely the relationship between Shakespeare, children and childhood from Shakespeare's time to the present. It offers a thorough mapping of the domain in which Shakespearean childhoods need to be studied, in order to show how studying Shakespearean childhoods makes significant contributions both to Shakespearean scholarship, and to the history of childhood and its representations. The book is divided into two sections, each with a substantial introduction outlining relevant critical debates and contextualizing the rich combination of new research and re-readings of familiar Shakespearean texts that characterize the individual essays. The first part of the book examines the complex significance of the figure of the child in the Shakespearean canon. The second part traces the rich histories of negotiation, exchange and appropriation that have characterised Shakespeare's subsequent relations to the cultures of childhood in literary realms.