‘The Right Thing to Read’: A History of Australian Girl-Readers, 1910-1960, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

‘The Right Thing to Read’

A History of Australian Girl-Readers, 1910-1960, 1st Edition

By Bronwyn Lowe


188 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9781138542778
pub: 2018-03-19
SAVE ~$29.00
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781351008129
pub: 2018-03-09
from $27.48

FREE Standard Shipping!


‘The Right Thing to Read’: A History of Australian Girl-Readers, 1910-1960 explores the reading habits, identity, and construction of femininity of Australian girls aged between ten and fourteen from 1910 to 1960. It investigates changing notions of Australian girlhood across the period, and explores the ways that parents, teachers, educators, journalists and politicians attempted to mitigate concerns about girls’ development through the promotion of ‘healthy’ literature. The book also addresses the influence of British publishers to Australian girl-readers and the growing importance of Australian publishers throughout the period. It considers the rise of Australian literary nationalism in the global context, and the increasing prominence of Australian literature in the period after the Second World War. It also shows how access to reading material improved for girls over the first half of the last century.


"This is an important contribution to the growing field of girlhood studies, using a range of sources to assess what Australian girls were reading and how their identity as citizens was affected by those choices." -- Nancy G. Rosoff, Dean of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies, Arcadia University (USA)

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments


1 Girlhood reading in the First World War

2 Magazine reading and access in the 1920s

3 Libraries, education and reading in the Great Depression

4 Girl-readers in the Second World War

5 1950s Australia and a new Australian children’s literature



About the Author

Bronwyn Lowe is a historian of Australian book history and girlhood, who examines attitudes towards girls’ reading habits in the past. Her most recent journal articles have appeared in History Compass and Book History. She currently works as a sessional lecturer of Australian Studies at the University of Melbourne.

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.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LITERARY CRITICISM / Australian & Oceanian
LITERARY CRITICISM / Children's Literature
LITERARY CRITICISM / Modern / 20th Century
LITERARY CRITICISM / Subjects & Themes / Women