Artful Dodgers: Reconceiving the Golden Age of Children's Literature

By Marah Gubar | Go to book overview
Save to active project

NOTES

INTRODUCTION

1. See, for example Coveney, Carpenter, Polhemus, Wullschläger, and Honeyman. Even Prickett, who repeatedly emphasizes that we cannot simply assume “that fantasy is always an escape or refuge from a repressive social code” and who lauds Charles Kingsley and George MacDonald for deploying fantasy in sophisticated, self-conscious ways in order to explore pressing “adult” issues (40), ends up dismissing Carroll and Edward Lear as childish “eccentrics” who gave way to their escapist tendencies (137). Similarly, Ann Wilson characterizes Barrie’s Neverland as a “world of childish adventure that is an escape from the pressures of real life” (600), even though—as she herself admits—the anxieties about class, gender, and Empire that emerge in the scenes set in England in no way dissipate when the action shifts to Peter’s island.

2. Thus, Wullschläger defines the Golden Age as a period when “a handful of men” created “a radical new literature for children” of unparalleled power and allure (4). Similarly, Carpenter’s characterization of the Golden Age as a period extending “from Lewis Carroll to A. A. Milne” in his preface reflects his general practice of rating male authors higher than female ones and fantasy over “the detritus of the moralists” and authors who penned realistic fiction (10), a genre he claims “attracted few writers of any quality” (15). In Ventures into Childland (1998), Knoepflmacher has moved to redress such sexist accounts by including appreciative readings of the work of influential female authors such as Juliana Ewing, Jean Ingelow, and Christina Rossetti. Yet he, too, focuses solely on fantasy, tracing how female authors responded to fairy tales by Ruskin, Thackeray, and Carroll. Interestingly, the earliest critical account of this period is actually the one that is most open to the idea that nonfantastic texts might have helped to make the Golden Age great. In “The Golden Age of Children’s Books” (1962), R. L. Green has some kind words for Charlotte Yonge’s domestic stories and historical romances and even proposes

-211-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Artful Dodgers: Reconceiving the Golden Age of Children's Literature
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 264

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?