Children's Literature and the Fin de Siècle


The close of a century invites both retrospection and prognostication. As a period of transition, it also brings a sense of uncertainty, finality, and apocalypticism. These feelings stem from various events, such as political turmoil, scientific advancements, and social change. As might be expected, literature reflects such changes and the feelings they engender. But perhaps more surprisingly, children's literature is especially sensitive to such matters, and fiction for children often struggles with dark and unpleasant issues. This book examines fin de siècle tensions in 19th- and 20th-century children's literature from around the world.

Each chapter is written by an expert contributor, and the volume ranges over a disparate variety of topics. These include poetry, series books, pacifist fiction, gender issues, religion and literature, eco-criticism, minority experiences, humor and the Holocaust, fantasy and science fiction, and computer culture. In exploring these issues in relation to children's literature, the contributors reveal the shifting nature of our values and the world in which we live. Global in nature, the chapters look at children's literature from such places as Germany, Holland, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States.

關於作者 (2003)

RODERICK MCGILLIS is Professor of English at the University of Calgary. His previous books include For the Childlike: George MacDonald's Fantasies for Children (1992), The Nimble Reader: Literary Theory and Children's Literature (1996), A Little Princess: Empire and Gender (1996), and Children's Literature and the Postcolonial Context (1999). He is also the author of numerous articles and book chapters.