The fantasy of family : nineteenth-century children's literature and the myth of the domestic ideal

Elizabeth Thiel

The myth of the Victorian family remains a pervasive influence within a contemporary Britain that perceives itself to be in social crisis. Nostalgic for a golden age of "Victorian values" in which visions of supportive, united families predominate, the common consciousness, exhorted by social and political discourse, continues to vaunt the "traditional, natural" family as the template by which all other family forms are gauged. Yet this fantasy of family, nurtured and augmented throughout the Victorian era, was essentially a construct that belied the realities of a nineteenth-century world in which orphanhood, fostering, and stepfamilies were endemic. Focusing primarily on British children's texts written by women and drawing extensively on socio-historic material, The Fantasy of Family considers the paradoxes implicit to the perpetuation of the domestic ideal within the Victorian era and offers new perspectives on both nineteenth-century and contemporary society.

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  • INTRODUCTION CHAPTER ONE Redefining the Past CHAPTER TWO Snatched From "The Seed-plot" of Degeneracy: The "rescue" of the destitute child in tales of street arab life CHAPTER THREE Forever Cursed: Stepmothers, "otherness" and the reinscription of myth in transnormative family narratives CHAPTER FOUR "Uncles are one thing...[but] aunts are always nasty!": Relational failures and the discourse of gender bias in foster family stories CHAPTER FIVE Mother, Ally, Friend - or Foe? : The "dependable" female author as one of the family CONCLUSION Into the Future: The enduring potency of the nineteenth-century domestic ideal APPENDIX LIST OF WORKS CITED NOTES INDEX

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書名 The fantasy of family : nineteenth-century children's literature and the myth of the domestic ideal
著作者等 Thiel, Elizabeth
シリーズ名 Children's literature and culture
出版元 Routledge
刊行年月 2008
ページ数 xiii, 199 p.
大きさ 24 cm
ISBN 9780203935514
NCID BA86216390
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言語 英語
出版国 アメリカ合衆国