The years of childhood have become increasingly central to autobiographical writing. Historians have linked this development to the new ideas about life-stages that emerged in the early modern period. Philippe Ariès (1914–84) made a key contribution in 1960 with a book on the child and family life in the ancien régime, known in English as Centuries of Childhood. ‘Family histories and the autobiography of childhood’ considers how genealogy (the tracing of family history) and the shaping of family relations by cultural and social forces have been central concerns for many modern autobiographers. It also looks closely at the relationship between child and parent and at the impact of mixed cultures.