"In these pages, the author has endeavored to paint that species of noisy, frolicsome, mischievous children which is now almost extinct, wishing to preserve a sort of fabulous remembrance of days long past, when young people were like wild horses on the prairies; rather than like well-broken hacks on the road; and when, amid many faults and many eccentricities there was still some individuality of character and feeling allowed to remain." -- Catherine Sinclair, from the foreword to Holiday House
The more things change, the more they remain the same! That was written in 1839. With all the hullabaloo about kids today not being as independent-minded and individualistic as they had the opportunity to be in the past, it's interesting to think that even in 1839, this was something people were worried about.
What fantastic things the children of the early 1800s must've gotten up to!
(this quote was happened upon in Roger Green's introductory essay to Only Connect: Readings on Children's Literature)