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Through the Northern Gate

Childhood and Growing Up in British Fiction, 1719-1901


Jacqueline Banerjee

This study challenges critical orthodoxy by showing that childhood became a focus of interest in British fiction well before the Romantic period. It also argues that children in the Victorian novel, far from being sentimental figures, are psychologically unique and contribute positively and significantly to the narrative discourse. Contemporary ideology, the novelists' autobiographical and humanitarian impulses, and gender issues, are all examined as factors in this development. Works by the major authors are analysed alongside others by non-canonical and children's writers.


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Chronology 211


Chronology Original publication dates of works covered in the Note on Editions; see Works Cited for the dates of all other fiction discussed. Jane Austell- Sense and Sensibility, 1811 Pride and Prejudice, 1813 Mansfield Park, 1814 Emma, 1816 Northanger Abbey, 1818 Persuasion, 1818 Lady Susan, 1871 (Ms. dated 1805) The Watsons, 1871 (written between 1804 and 1807). Anne Bronte- Agnes Grey, 184 7 The Tenant oJWildfell Hall, 1848 Charlotte Bronte- Jane Eyre, 1847 Shirley, 1849 Villette, 1853 The Professor, 1857 (completed in 1846) Emily Bronte- Wuthering Heights, 184 7 Charles Dickens- The Pickwick Papers, 1836-37 Oliver Twist, 1837-38 Nicholas Nickleby, 1838-39 The Old Curiosity Shop, 1840-41 212 Chronology Martin Chuzzlewit, 1843-44 A Christmas Carol, 1843 The Chimes, 1845 Dombey and Son, 1846-48 David Copperfield, 1849-50 "Lying Awake," 1852 Bleak House, 1852-53 Hard Times, 1854 Little Dorrit, 1855-57 A Tale ofTwo Cities, 1859 "Nurse's Stories," 1860 Great Expectations, 1860-61 "Tom Tiddler's Ground," 1861. "Mrs Lirriper's Lodgings," 1863 Our Mutual Friend, 1864-65 "George Silverman's Explanation," 1868 "Holiday Romance," 1868 The Mystery of Edwin Drood, 1870 George Eliot- Scenes of Clerical Life, 1857 Adam Bede, 1859 The Mill on the Floss, 1860 Silas Marner, 1861 Romola, 1862-63 Felix Holt, The Radical, 1866 Middlemarch, 1871-72 Daniel Deronda, 1876 William Makepeace Thackeray- Vanity Fair, 1847-8

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