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Between Generations: Collaborative Authorship in the Golden Age of Children's Literature (Children's Literature Association Series)

Victoria Ford Smith

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ISBN 10: 1496813375 / ISBN 13: 9781496813374
Published by University Press of Mississippi, 2017
Condition: Good Hardcover
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Title: Between Generations: Collaborative ...

Publisher: University Press of Mississippi

Publication Date: 2017

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Good

About this title


Between Generations is a multidisciplinary volume that reframes children as powerful forces in the production of their own literature and culture by uncovering a tradition of creative, collaborative partnerships between adults and children in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century England. The intergenerational collaborations documented here provide the foundations for some of the most popular Victorian literature for children, from Margaret Gatty's Aunt Judy's Tales to Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island. Examining the publication histories of both canonical and lesser-known Golden Age texts reveals that children collaborated with adult authors as active listeners, coauthors, critics, illustrators, and even small-scale publishers.

These literary collaborations were part of a growing interest in child agency evident in cultural, social, and scientific discourses of the time. Between Generations puts these creative partnerships in conversation with collaborations in other fields, including child study, educational policy, library history, and toy culture. Taken together, these collaborations illuminate how Victorians used new critical approaches to childhood to theorize young people as viable social actors. Smith's work not only recognizes Victorian children as literary collaborators but also interrogates how those creative partnerships reflect and influence adult-child relationships in the world beyond books. Between Generations breaks the critical impasse that understands children's literature and children themselves as products of adult desire and revises common constructions of childhood that frequently and often errantly resign the young to passivity or powerlessness.

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Wide-ranging, well informed, and replete with fascinating detail, Between Generations considers Victorian and Edwardian children as active listeners and speakers, illustrators, writing partners, and critics of literary productions. Victoria Ford Smith's study is a valuable contribution to the growing number of studies demonstrating that far from maintaining a decorous silence in the presence of their elders, children in the long nineteenth century were both seen and heard--and the publications that they helped to shape profited in ways that we are still learning to appreciate. (Claudia Nelson, professor of English and Claudius M. Easley, Jr., Faculty Fellow of Liberal Arts at Texas A&M University)

Between Generations is deeply revelatory, transforming our sense of the Golden Age of children's literature and the interdisciplinary field that the Victorians called 'child study.' Uncovering an amazingly rich tradition of intergenerational collaborations that run the gamut from factual to fictional, Victoria Ford Smith shows us how adult-child partnerships animated the work of a wide range of writers and researchers, paying close attention not just to prose, but also to poetry, illustration, and the material culture of children's play. Everyone working in the interlinked fields of children's literature and childhood studies should read this beautifully written, meticulously researched, and methodologically innovative book. (Marah Gubar, associate professor of literature at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and author of Artful Dodgers: Reconceiving the Golden Age of Children's Literature)

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