An Introduction to Children's Literature / Edition 1

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Children's literature is a remarkable area of writing: it is one of the roots of Western culture, enjoyed passionately by adults as well as children. Its characters - Cinderella, Pooh Bear, Biggles, the Wizard of Oz - are a part of most people's psyche, and form a link not only with childhood, but also with basic myths and archetypes. This book provides a concise history of British children's literature, focusing particularly on the past 130 years. It traces the evolution from moralizing, 'improving' works to books which are more empathetic to the world of the child. But it also demonstrates that the history of children's literature can be approached from several angles - that of the women who predominate among children's writers, of the relationship between children's books and contemporary ideologies, and of the part played by illustrations and illustrators in the development of the genre. Peter Hunt also addresses key questions about the nature of children's literature: what makes it different from adult literature? How is it read by children, and what critical responses can an adult appropriately make? With children's literature becoming a fiercely contested academic and ideological battleground, Peter Hunt's balanced assessment of the terrain will be of value to anyone seeking a reliable introduction to the history and issues involved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780192892430
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 8/22/1996
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 9.19 (w) x 5.13 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Approaching Children's Literature 1
2 History and Histories 27
3 The Early History of Children's Literature 37
4 Maturity, 1860-1920 59
5 The Long Weekend, 1920-1939 106
6 Equal Terms: 1940 to the Present 127
7 Uses and Abuses, Themes and Variations 163
8 Conclusion: Stalking the Perfect Children's Book 184
A Chronology of Children's Literature 189
Notes 197
Short Bibliography 221
Index 223
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