Animals and Their Children in Victorian Culture: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Animals and Their Children in Victorian Culture

1st Edition

Edited by Brenda Ayres, Sarah Elizabeth Maier


320 pages | 5 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780367416102
pub: 2019-12-09
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Whether a secularized morality, biblical worldview, or unstated set of mores, the Victorian period can and always will be distinguished from those before and after for its pervasive sense of the "proper way" of thinking, speaking, doing, and acting. Animals in literature taught Victorian children how to be behave. If you are a postmodern posthumanist, you might argue, "But the animals in literature did not write their own accounts." Animal characters may be the creations of writers’ imagination, but animals did and do exist in their own right, as did and do humans. The original essays in Animals and Their Children in Victorian explore the representation of animals in children’s literature by resisting an anthropomorphized perception of them. Instead of focusing on the domestication of animals, this book analyzes how animals in literature "civilize" children, teaching them how to get along with fellow creatures—both human and nonhuman.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Little Beasts on Tight Leashes

Brenda Ayres and Sarah E. Maier

Chapter 1

Why Did the Cow Jump over the Moon? Animals (but Mostly Pussies) in Nursery Rhymes

Brenda Ayres

Chapter 2

Wanted Dead or Alive: Rabbits in Victorian Children’s Literature

Keridiana Chez

Chapter 3

"In friendly chat with bird or beast … mixing together things grave and gay": Desireful Animals and Humans in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass

Anna Koustinoudi

Chapter 4

A Brotherhood of Wolves: Loyalty in Yiddish and Anglo-Jewish Folktales

Lindsay Katzir and Brandon Katzir

Chapter 5

Advocating for the Least of These: Empowering Children and Animals in The Band of Mercy Advocate

Alisa Clapp-Itnyre

Chapter 6

Bush Animals, Developmental Time, and Colonial Identity in Victorian Australian Children’s Fiction

Christie Harner

Chapter 7

The Serpent; or, the Real King of the Jungle

Stephen Basdeo

Chapter 8

Learning Masculinity: Education, Boyhood, and the Animal in Thomas Hughes’ Tom Brown’s School Days

Alicia Alves

Chapter 9

Unruly Females on the Farm: Farmed Animal Mothers and the Dismantling of the Species Hierarchy in 19th Century Literature for Children

Stacy Hoult-Saros

Chapter 10

The Child is Father of the Man: Lessons Animals Teach Children in George Eliot’s Writings

Constance Fulmer

Chapter 11

Neither Brutes nor Beasts: Animals, Children and Young Persons and/in the Brontës

Sarah E. Maier

Chapter 12

Animals, Children, and the Fantasies of the Circus

Susan Nance

Chapter 13

Imperial Pets: Monkey-Girls, Man-Cubs, and Dog-Faced Boys on Exhibition in Victorian Britain

Shannon Scott

About the Editors

Dr. Brenda Ayres, once Full Professor on the graduate faculty of English, is now teaching online as Adjunct Professor for Liberty University and Southern New Hampshire University.

Dr. Sarah E. Maier is Full Professor of English and Comparative Literature, as well as Director of Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies, at the University of New Brunswick.

About the Series

Perspectives on the Non-Human in Literature and Culture

In recent years, many disciplines within the humanities have become increasingly concerned with non-human actors and entities. The environment, animals, machines, objects, weather, and other non-human beings and things have taken center stage to challenge assumptions about what we have traditionally called "the human." Informed by theoretical approaches like posthumanism, the new materialisms, (including Actor Network Theory, Object-Oriented Ontology, and similar approaches) ecocriticism, and critical animal studies, such scholarship has until now had no separate and identifiable collective home at an academic press. This series will provide that home, publishing work that shares a concern with the non-human in literary and cultural studies. The series invites single-authored books and essay collections that focus primarily on literary texts, but from an interdisciplinary, theoretically-informed perspective; it will include work that crosses geographical and period boundaries. Titles are characterized by dynamic interventions into established subjects and innovative studies on emerging topics.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LITERARY CRITICISM / Children's Literature
LITERARY CRITICISM / Modern / 19th Century
LITERARY CRITICISM / Subjects & Themes / Nature
NATURE / Animals / General