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
Why Did the Cow Jump over the Moon? Animals (but Mostly Pussies) in Nursery Rhymes
Wanted Dead or Alive: Rabbits in Victorian Children’s Literature
"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
A Brotherhood of Wolves: Loyalty in Yiddish and Anglo-Jewish Folktales
Lindsay Katzir and Brandon Katzir
Advocating for the Least of These: Empowering Children and Animals in The Band of Mercy Advocate
Bush Animals, Developmental Time, and Colonial Identity in Victorian Australian Children’s Fiction
The Serpent; or, the Real King of the Jungle
Learning Masculinity: Education, Boyhood, and the Animal in Thomas Hughes’ Tom Brown’s School Days
Unruly Females on the Farm: Farmed Animal Mothers and the Dismantling of the Species Hierarchy in 19th Century Literature for Children
The Child is Father of the Man: Lessons Animals Teach Children in George Eliot’s Writings
Neither Brutes nor Beasts: Animals, Children and Young Persons and/in the Brontës
Sarah E. Maier
Animals, Children, and the Fantasies of the Circus
Imperial Pets: Monkey-Girls, Man-Cubs, and Dog-Faced Boys on Exhibition in Victorian Britain
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.