The Child in British Literature: Literary Constructions of Childhood, Medieval to Contemporary

Hardcover | March 15, 2012

EditorAdrienne E. Gavin

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The first volume to consider childhood over eight centuries of British writing, this book traces the literary child from medieval to contemporary texts. Written by international experts, the volume's essays challenge earlier readings of childhood and offer fascinating contributions to the current upsurge of interest in constructions of childhood.

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The first volume to consider childhood over eight centuries of British writing, this book traces the literary child from medieval to contemporary texts. Written by international experts, the volume's essays challenge earlier readings of childhood and offer fascinating contributions to the current upsurge of interest in constructions of...

ADRIENNE E. GAVIN Reader in English at Canterbury Christ Church University, UK. Her publications include Dark Horse: A Life of Anna Sewell (2004), critical editions of Caroline Clive's Paul Ferroll (2008), Henry de Vere Stacpoole's The Blue Lagoon (2010), and C. L. Pirkis's The Experiences of Loveday Brooke, Lady Detective (2010), and...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:280 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.69 inPublished:March 15, 2012Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230348270

ISBN - 13:9780230348271

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Notes on Contributors
The Child in British Literature: An Introduction; A.E.Gavin
PART I: MEDIEVAL AND EARLY MODERN LITERATURE (1200-1700)
'That child may doon to fadres reverence': Children and Childhood in Middle English Literature; D.T.Kline
Shakespeare's 'terrible infants'?: Children in Richard III, King John, and Macbeth; K.Knowles
Infant Poets and Child Players: The Literary Performance of Childhood in Caroline England; L.Munro
'Children read for their Pleasantness': Books for Schoolchildren in the Seventeenth Century; E.Lamb
PART II: EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY, ROMANTIC, AND VICTORIAN LITERATURE (1700-1900)
Crusoe's Children: Robinson Crusoe and the Culture of Childhood in the Eighteenth Century; A.O'Malley
Irony and Performance: The Romantic Child; R.McGillis
Angelic, Culpable, Human: The Child of the Victorian Period; N.Wood
Degenerate 'Innocents': Childhood, Deviance, and Criminality in Nineteenth-Century Texts; L.Thiel
'She faded and drooped as a flower': Constructing the Child in the Child-Rescue Literature of Late-Victorian England; M.Hillel
PART III:EDWARDIAN, MODERN, AND CONTEMPORARY LITERATURE (1900-2010)
Unadulterated Childhood: The Child in Edwardian Fiction; A.E.Gavin
'From the Enchanted Garden to the Steps of my Father's House': The Dissentient Child in Early Twentieth-Century British Fiction; A.F.Humphries
Baby Tuckoo Among the Grown-Ups: Modernism and Childhood in the Interwar Period; P.March-Russell
The Post-War Child: Childhood in British Literature in the Wake of World War II; P.Pinsent
Shackled by Past and Parents: The Child in British Children's Literature After 1970; K.Sands-O'Connor
Examining the Idea of Childhood: The Child in the Contemporary British Novel; K.Dodou
Index

Editorial Reviews

'A sustained investigation of the representation and construction of childhood in literature across the centuries is long overdue, but here at last is a carefully assembled volume that comprehensively covers the subject. The impressive selection of essays, of consistently high quality, takes us from medieval literature, through the early modern and Victorian periods, to Elizabeth Bowen, Virginia Woolf and Iain McEwan. Many major landmark texts are discussed – both works of literature and the key contextualising works by Locke, Rousseau, Freud and others. But the reader will find much that's surprising here too: neglected titles, forgotten authors, new contexts. Taken together the essays gathered here will challenge many of our assumptions about the place of childhood in culture and the ways in which this has – or hasn't – shifted over time. We will certainly no longer be able to believe that the child has not been an important and continuous theme throughout all of English Literature.' - Matthew Grenby, Reader in Children's Literature, Newcastle University, UK'Gavin is to be congratulated on editing such a coherent volume, which successfully tracks bigger shifts in literature as well as society's construction of childhood, while each essay nevertheless retains its individual focus and nuance.' - Merridee L. Bailey, University of Adelaide, Australia