Catalogue

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Charles Dickens and the Victorian child : romanticizing and socializing the imperfect child /
by Amberyl Malkovich.
imprint
New York : Routledge, c2013.
description
xvi, 160 p.
ISBN
0415899087, 9780415899086
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New York : Routledge, c2013.
isbn
0415899087
9780415899086
catalogue key
8865584
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 147-150) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2013-07-01:
In this meticulously researched book, part of the publisher's "Children's Literature and Culture" series, Malkovich (Concord Univ.) examines the nature of imperfect childhood presented by Dickens and later depicted in the works of 19th-century writers Charles Kingsley, George MacDonald, Hesba Stretton, Christina Rossetti, and Edith Nesbit. The author, whose study makes an ideal companion to Ginger Frost's Victorian Childhoods (CH, Feb'10, 47-3394), discusses a range of subjects, including the use of fairy tale motifs by Victorian novelists and children's language facility. In particular, she explores the effect of names and naming as the child (an innocent, for the most part) learns from exposure to treachery, disease, and death the harsh realities of Victorian life. The final chapter deals with contemporary constructions of imperfect childhood, which leads readers to that most popular portrayal of an imperfect child in current literature--Harry Potter. The six carefully chosen illustrations reinforce Malkovich's analysis, which offers many new insights into the neglected topic of less-than-perfect children in Victorian fiction. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Graduate students, researchers, and faculty. J. D. Vann emeritus, University of North Texas
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, July 2013
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Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
This text explores the ideas of children and childhood, and the construct of the 'ideal' Victorian child, that developed rapidly over the Victorian era along with literacy and reading material for the emerging mass reading public.
Main Description
This book explores the ideas of children and childhood, and the construct of the 'ideal' Victorian child, that developed rapidly over the Victorian era along with literacy and reading material for the emerging mass reading public. Children's Literature was one of the developing areas for publishers and readers alike, yet this did not stop the reading public from bringing home works not expressly intended for children and reading to their family. Within the idealized middle class family circle, authors such as Charles Dickens were read and appreciated by members of all ages. By examining some of Dickens's works that contain the imperfect child, and placing them alongside works by Kingsley, MacDonald, Rossetti, and Nesbit, Malkovich considers the construction, romanticization, and socialization of the Victorian child within work read by and for children during the Victorian Era and early Edwardian period. These authors use elements of religion, death, irony, fairy worlds, gender, and class to illustrate the need for the ideal child and yet the impossibility of such a construct. Malkovich contends that we still long for the Victorian child within our literatures, and while debates rage over how to define children's literature, such children, though somewhat changed, can still be found in the most popular of literatures read by children contemporarily.
Main Description
This book explores the ideas of children and childhood, and the construct of the ideal " Victorian child, that developed rapidly over the Victorian era along with literacy and reading material for the emerging mass reading public. Children "s Literature was one of the developing areas for publishers and readers alike, yet this did not stop the reading public from bringing home works not expressly intended for children and reading to their family. Within the idealized middle class family circle, authors such as Charles Dickens were read and appreciated by members of all ages. By examining some of Dickens "s works that contain the imperfect child, and placing them alongside works by Kingsley, MacDonald, Rossetti, and Nesbit, Malkovich considers the construction, romanticization, and socialization of the Victorian child within work read by and for children during the Victorian Era and early Edwardian period. These authors use elements of religion, death, irony, fairy worlds, gender, and class to illustrate the need for the ideal child and yet the impossibility of such a construct. Malkovich contends that we still long for the Victorian child within our literatures, and while debates rage over how to define children "s literature, such children, though somewhat changed, can still be found in the most popular of literatures read by children contemporarily.
Main Description
This book explores the ideas of children and childhood, and the construct of the 'ideal' Victorian child, that developed rapidly over the Victorian era along with literacy and reading material for the emerging mass reading public. Children's Literature was one of the developing areas for publishers and readers alike, yet this did not stop the reading public from bringing home works not expressly intended for children and reading to their family. Within the idealized middle class family circle, authors such as Charles Dickens were read and appreciated by members of all ages. By examining some of Dickens's works that contain the imperfect child, and placing them alongside works by Kingsley, MacDonald, Stretton, Rossetti, and Nesbit, Malkovich considers the construction, romanticization, and socialization of the Victorian child within work read by and for children during the Victorian Era and early Edwardian period. These authors use elements of religion, death, irony, fairy worlds, gender, and class to illustrate the need for the ideal child and yet the impossibility of such a construct. Malkovich contends that the 'imperfect' child more readily reflects reality, whereas the 'ideal' child reflects an unattainable fantasy and while debates rage over how to define children's literature, such children, though somewhat changed, can still be found in the most popular of literatures read by children contemporarily.
Table of Contents
Introduction
Please Sir, I Want Some More: LearningâÇ at Any Cost
I believe, I believe!: Fairies, Their World, and Authorial Preservation
Belittling and Being Little: Resisting Socially Imposed Physical and Gendered Limitations
A Beautiful Decay: Disease, Death and Eternal Longing of the Imperfect Child
Mining the Missing Link: Contemporary Constructions of the Imperfect Child
Conclusion: The Perfection of Imperfection: The Consummation of the Misunderstood
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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