1st Edition

Animals and Their Children in Victorian Culture

Edited By Brenda Ayres, Sarah Elizabeth Maier Copyright 2020
    278 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    278 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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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.

    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


    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.