Visualisation in Popular Fiction, 1860-1960: Graphic Narratives, Fictional Images

By Stuart Sillars | Go to book overview

3

FAIRY PALACES

Identification and ideology in children's fiction

A few months after the first number of The Graphic appeared at the end of 1869, Royal Assent was given to Forster's Education Act of 1870. Its provisions were fairly limited: higher grants were given to church schools, and local boards were set up to oversee education-yet it set clear the path for state development of education as a right for all children. Further acts in 1880 and 1902 extended its provisions: they were part of a larger movement which acknowledged, for the first time, the importance of childhood as a separate state of being which needed nurture, support and encouragement. Legislation against cruelty to children, changes to the law on poor relief, the inception of nursery schools, and the range of provisions of the Children's Act of 1908 all combined to ensure that childhood was now a condition with its own rights: not for nothing was the new century hailed as 'the century of the child'.

For the middle classes, increasing standards of health and housing, and the beginnings of contraception to limit the size of families, meant that children were something that could now be enjoyed rather than endured. Legislation earlier in the century had limited the employment of children; even before the education acts, church schools had spread an education which was moral as well as literal. The Victorian notion of self-improvement enhanced the desire for education, which in turn created a need for books aimed especially at young readers.

There had been books for children since the beginning of printing; what made the childrens' books of the last quarter of the century so different was the way in which they approached the child readers-as individuals with tastes and attitudes different from those of adults, which had to be satisfied in different ways.

-52-

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Visualisation in Popular Fiction, 1860-1960: Graphic Narratives, Fictional Images
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Plates viii
  • Acknowledgements x
  • 1 - The Nature and Function of Visualisation 1
  • 2 - Graphic Narratives 30
  • 3 - Fairy Palaces 52
  • 4 - Illustrated Magazines 72
  • 5 - Gone to Earth and 1920s Landscape Ideology 93
  • 6 - The Romantic Continuum 113
  • 7 - Eagle and the Morality of Visual Narratives 132
  • 8 - Working-Class F(R)Ictions 154
  • Notes 175
  • References and Further Reading 179
  • Index 185
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