The Family in English ChildrenĘs Literature

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2008-04-03
  • Publisher: Routledge

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From the trials of families experiencing divorce, as in Anne Fine#xE2;#xAC;"s Madame Doubtfire, to the childcare problems highlighted in Jacqueline Wilson#xE2;#xAC;"s Tracy Beaker, it might seem that the traditional family and the ideals that accompany it have long vanished. However, in The Family in English Children#xE2;#xAC;"s Literature, Ann Alston argues that this is far from the case. She suggests that despite the tales of family woe portrayed in children#xE2;#xAC;"s literature, the desire for the happy, contented nuclear family remains inherent within the ideological subtexts of children#xE2;#xAC;"s literature. Using 1818 as a starting point, Alston investigates families in children#xE2;#xAC;"s literature at their most intimate, focusing on how they share their spaces, their ideals of home, and even on what they eat for dinner. What emerges from Alston#xE2;#xAC;"s study are not so much the contrasts that exist between periods, but rather the startling similarities of the ideology of family intrinsic to children#xE2;#xAC;"s literature. The Family in English Children#xE2;#xAC;"s Literature sheds light on who maintains control, who behaves, and how significant children#xE2;#xAC;"s literature is in shaping our ideas about what makes a family "good."

Author Biography

Ann Alston lectures at the University of the West of England in Bristol, UK, with a focus in Welsh Children's Literature and nineteenth-century constructions of the child.

Table of Contents

Series Editor's Forewordp. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Introductionp. 1
History of Family: The Growth of a Cherished Institutionp. 7
1818-1914 Depictions of the Nineteenth and Turn of the Century Family: From a Good Beating to the Flight to Neverlandp. 27
1920-2003 Depictions of the Twentieth-Century Family: From 'Just William' to 'Harry Potter'p. 47
There's No Place Like Home: Home and Family in Children's Literaturep. 69
A Room of One's Own? Spaces, Families and Powerp. 89
Edible Fictions: Fictional Food - The Family Meal in Children's Literaturep. 105
Conclusionp. 135
Notesp. 139
Bibliographyp. 145
Indexp. 155
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