Studies in Children's Literature, 1500-2000

Edited by: Celia Keenan, Mary Shine Thompson

Ranging from the fundamental question, whether a children's literature is possible, or what its formal and contextual parameters might be, to issues of contemporary cultural studies (post-colonialism, gender, race, and class), this collection of essays inserts children's literature into literary, theoretical, and historical debate. From English renaissance children's reading, the book then shifts to Shaw's Castle Blair, an ambivalent metaphor for a 19th-century Ireland seeking post-colonial self-determination, and a study of wild Irish girls' civilizing education in England in De Horne Vaizey's and Meade's novels. The book interrogates Hodgson Burnett's obsessions with childhood innocence and her problematic adult-child relationships; the golliwog transformed from a transgressive figure into a non-PC icon; and schoolboys from the Jennings series and Greyfriars to Huck Finn and Harry Potter. Blyton, Dillon, Frost, Lynch, Parkinson, Ransome, Thomas, and Whelan come under scrutiny, as does the link between food, class, national heritage, and innocence. How Frost's and Thomas's stories reflect evolving conceptions of childhood is scrutinized. Unpublished archival material complicates assumptions about Patricia Lynch and Talbot Press children's religious publications. Dillon's 'nativist' novels display transitional stages of post-colonialization, and Whelan's and Parkinson's historiography is contrasted. (Series: Studies in Children's Literature)

181 pages

Publication Date: 12/31/2004
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9781851828777