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Through the Northern Gate

Childhood and Growing Up in British Fiction, 1719-1901

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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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BM 1 245

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Studies in Nineteenth-Century British Literature Series Editor: Regina Hewitt Books in this series examine the poetry and prose produced by British writers from the time of the French Revolution to the death of Queen Victoria. Historical events-rather than traditional literary categories or dates-define the scope of the series because they better convey a sense of the social consciousness that animates literary undertakings during this age. While the series includes a wide range of approaches to nineteenth-century British works, its special focus is on studies that relate this literature to its cultural context(s). Manuscripts addressing their subjects' social, political, or historical situations, ideals, influences, or receptions are especially welcome; manuscripts analyzing the implications of classifying this literature as "Romantic" or "Victorian" or of separating it into genres are also encouraged. Authors should write in English, though they may appropriately compare British works with those in other languages. Authors wishing to have works considered for this series should contact: Regina Hewitt c/o Heidi Burns 516 North Charles Street Baltimore, MD 21201 This page intentionally left blank This study challenges critical orthodoxy by showing that child- hood 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...

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