Cambridge Studies in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture: Evolution and Imagination in Victorian Children's Literature Series Number 103 (Paperback)
  • Cambridge Studies in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture: Evolution and Imagination in Victorian Children's Literature Series Number 103 (Paperback)
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Cambridge Studies in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture: Evolution and Imagination in Victorian Children's Literature Series Number 103 (Paperback)

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Paperback 270 Pages / Published: 20/12/2018
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Evolutionary theory sparked numerous speculations about human development, and one of the most ardently embraced was the idea that children are animals recapitulating the ascent of the species. After Darwin's Origin of Species, scientific, pedagogical, and literary works featuring beastly babes and wild children interrogated how our ancestors evolved and what children must do in order to repeat this course to humanity. Exploring fictions by Rudyard Kipling, Lewis Carroll, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Charles Kingsley, and Margaret Gatty, Jessica Straley argues that Victorian children's literature not only adopted this new taxonomy of the animal child, but also suggested ways to complete the child's evolution. In the midst of debates about elementary education and the rising dominance of the sciences, children's authors plotted miniaturized evolutions for their protagonists and readers and, more pointedly, proposed that the decisive evolutionary leap for both our ancestors and ourselves is the advent of the literary imagination.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781107566811
Number of pages: 270


MEDIA REVIEWS
'Her insightful discussions of some of the most important writers of the Golden Age of children's literature in the context of developments in science and the British educational system leave us in no doubt as to the veracity of this statement; the greatest evolutionary leap for both the authors and for us is the arrival of the literary imagination.' Jane M. Ekstam, English Studies
'Evolution and Imagination in Victorian Children's Literature is a highly detailed book about British 19th-century children's literature and the impact of Darwin's evolutionary theory ... The book is intended for historians, literary scholars, teachers and students of literature, as well as curious enthusiasts who would like to expand their knowledge of fascinating social changes in the Victorian era.' Helena Horziae, Libri and Liberi
'Her insightful discussions of some of the most important writers of the Golden Age of children's literature in the context of developments in science and the British educational system leave us in no doubt as to the veracity of this statement; the greatest evolutionary leap for both the authors and for us is the arrival of the literary imagination.' Jane M. Ekstam, English Studies
'Evolution and Imagination in Victorian Children's Literature is a highly detailed book about British 19th-century children's literature and the impact of Darwin's evolutionary theory ... The book is intended for historians, literary scholars, teachers and students of literature, as well as curious enthusiasts who would like to expand their knowledge of fascinating social changes in the Victorian era.' Helena Horziae, Libri and Liberi

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