Juvenile Literature and British Society, 1850-1950: The Age of Adolescence, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Juvenile Literature and British Society, 1850-1950

The Age of Adolescence, 1st Edition

By Charles Ferrall, Anna Jackson


210 pages

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In this study, Charles Ferrall and Anna Jackson argue that the Victorians created a concept of adolescence that lasted into the twentieth century and yet is strikingly at odds with post-Second World War notions of adolescence as a period of "storm and stress." In the enormously popular "juvenile" literature of the period, primarily boys’ and girls’ own adventure and school stories, adolescence is acknowledged as a time of sexual awareness and yet also of a romantic idealism that is lost with marriage, a time when boys and girls acquire adult duties and responsibilities and yet have not had to assume the roles of breadwinner or household manager. The book reveals a concept of adolescence as significant as the Romantic cult of childhood that preceded it, which will be of interest to scholars of both children’s literature and Victorian culture.

Table of Contents

List of Figures Series Editor’s Foreword Acknowledgments Introduction 1: Sexuality and Sacrifice in the Boys’ Stories before the War 2: Romance and the Boys’ Story 3: Sexuality and Romance in the Girls’ Stories 4: Sacrifice and Independence in the Girls’ Stories 5: Boys’ Stories between the Wars 6: Girls’ Stories between the Wars Conclusion Notes Bibliography Index

About the Authors

Anna Jackson is Senior Lecturer in English at Victoria University of Wellington whose publications include Floating Worlds: Essays on Contemporary New Zealand Fiction, co-edited with Jane Stafford (Victoria University Press, 2009), and The Gothic in Children’s Literature: Haunting the Borders, co-edited with Karen Coats and Rod McGillis (Routledge, 2007).

Charles Ferrall is Senior Lecturer in English at Victoria University of Wellington whose publications include Modernist Writing and Reactionary Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2001), The Trials of Eric Mareo, co-authored with Rebecca Ellis (Victoria University Press, 2002), Katherine Mansfield’s Men, co-edited with Jane Stafford (Steele Roberts, 2004) and East by South: China in the Australasian Imagination, co-edited with Paul Millar and Keren Smith (Victoria University Press, 2005).

About the Series

Children's Literature and Culture

Founding Editor and Series Editor 1994-2011: Jack Zipes

Series Editor, 2011-2018: Philip Nel


Founded by Jack Zipes in 1994, Children's Literature and Culture is the longest-running series devoted to the study of children’s literature and culture from a national and international perspective. Dedicated to promoting original research in children’s literature and children’s culture, in 2011 the series expanded its focus to include childhood studies, and it seeks to explore the legal, historical, and philosophical conditions of different childhoods. An advocate for scholarship from around the globe, the series recognizes innovation and encourages interdisciplinarity. Children's Literature and Culture offers cutting-edge, upper-level scholarly studies and edited collections considering topics such as gender, race, picturebooks, childhood, nation, religion, technology, and many others. Titles are characterized by dynamic interventions into established subjects and innovative studies on emerging topics.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LITERARY CRITICISM / European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
LITERARY CRITICISM / Children's Literature