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
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).