Victorian literature for audiences of all ages provides a broad foundation upon which to explore complex and evolving ideas about young people. In turn, this collection argues, contemporary works for young people that draw on Victorian literature and culture ultimately reflect our own disruptions and upheavals, particularly as they relate to child and adolescent readers and our experiences of them. The essays herein suggest that we struggle now, as the Victorians did then, to assert a cohesive understanding of young readers and that this lack of cohesion is a result of or a parallel to the disruptions taking place on a larger (even global) scale.
Table of Contents
Sonya Sawyer Fritz and Sara K. Day
1 "The great change in human history": The Recasting of the Fall of Man as the Crisis of Faith in His Dark Materials
Brett Carol Young
2 "What’s in the Empty Flat?": Specular Identity and Authorship in Neil Gaiman’s Coraline
3 In Space No One Can Hear You Cry: Late-Victorian Adventure and Contemporary Boyhood in Disney’s Treasure Planet
Sonya Sawyer Fritz
4 Are We Not (Wo)Men?: Gender and Animality in Contemporary Young Adult Retellings of H.G. Wells’s The Island of Dr. Moreau
5 Steampunk Kim: The Neo-Victorian Cosmopolitan Child in Philip Reeve’s Larklight
6 The Dangerous Alphabet and the Dark Side of Victorian Domesticity
A. Robin Hoffman
7 Return of the Dapper Men and the Nonsense of Neo-Victorian Literature
Victoria Ford Smith
8 Asian Masculinity, Eurasian Identity, and Whiteness in Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices Trilogy
9 Intertextuality, Adaptation, or Fan Fiction? April Lindner and the Brontë Sisters
10 Growing Up Empowered by Jane: An Examination of Jane Eyre in Twenty-First Century Children’s and Young Adult Literature
11 Canon for the Cradle: Materiality and Commodity in Board Book Retellings of Victorian Novels
Sara K. Day
12 Uptops and Sooties: Neo-Victorian Representations of Race and Class in Gail Carriger’s Finishing School Books
Eden Unger Bowditch
Notes on Contributors
Sonya Sawyer Fritz is an associate professor of English at the University of Central Arkansas. Her work has appeared in Neo-Victorian Studies, Girlhood Studies, and several essay collections.
Sara K. Day is an assistant professor of English at Truman State University and the author of Reading Like a Girl: Narrative Intimacy in Contemporary American Young Adult Fiction. She has also served as associate editor of the Children’s Literature Association Quarterly and co-editor (with Miranda Green-Barteet and Amy. L Montz) of Female Rebellion in Young Adult Dystopian Fiction.