Childhood and the Classics: Britain and America, 1850-1965 - Classical Presences (Paperback)
  • Childhood and the Classics: Britain and America, 1850-1965 - Classical Presences (Paperback)
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Childhood and the Classics: Britain and America, 1850-1965 - Classical Presences (Paperback)

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£25.00
Paperback 352 Pages / Published: 01/03/2020
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The dissemination of classical material to children has long been a major form of popularization with far-reaching effects, although until very recently it has received almost no attention within the growing field of classical reception studies. This volume explores the ways in which children encountered the world of ancient Greece and Rome in Britain and the United States over a century-long period beginning in the 1850s, as well as adults' literary responses to their own childhood encounters with antiquity. Rather than discussing the role of classics in education, it focuses on books read for enjoyment, and on two genres of children's literature in particular: the myth collection and the historical novel. The tradition of myths retold as children's stories is traced in the work of writers and illustrators from Nathaniel Hawthorne and Charles Kingsley to Roger Lancelyn Green and Ingri and Edgar Parin D'Aulaire, while the discussion of historical fiction focuses particularly on the roles of nationality and gender in the construction of an ancient world for modern children. The book concludes with an investigation of the connections between childhood and antiquity made by writers for adults, including James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, and H.D. Recognition of the fundamental role in children's literature of adults' ideas about what children want or need is balanced throughout by attention to the ways in which child readers have made such works their own. The formative experiences of antiquity discussed throughout help to explain why despite growing uncertainty about the appeal of antiquity to modern children, the classical past remains perennially interesting and inspiring.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198859215
Number of pages: 352
Dimensions: 216 x 138 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Childhood and the Classics grapples with a large topic that crosses geographic, temporal and disciplinary boundaries. In spite of this ambitious scope, the authors do an excellent job throughout of situating their discussions within the literary and historical context ofeach period being addressed. ... As such, it is a work that will appeal not only to scholars of childhood studies and classical studies, but also to those with a wider interest in important literary developments of the mid-nineteenth to mid-twentieth centuries. * Elizabeth A. Galway, The Classical Review *
This is a pioneering book which opens up a new field in classical reception studies. Clearly and thoughtfully written, well organised, with several illustrations including eight fine colour plates, it is a pleasure both to read and to look at. The authors, who have a long history of fruitful collaboration, have absorbed a vast amount of primary and secondary literature which is deftly and unobtrusively deployed to support their analyses of children's literature influenced by and/or about classical antiquity. * Christopher Stray, Classics for All *
Murnaghan and Roberts's close readings of individual retellings contain many moments of interest. * Times Literary Supplement *
Childhood and the Classics is undoubtedly an invaluable piece of research which will surely lead the way for further work in this fascinating and emerging field. The conclusions are extremely strong and well-supported, the book well- referenced and the text both invaluable to a specialist and able to be followed by the general reader. * Robin Diver, Rosetta *

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