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Framing the Fairy Tale: Nation Building and Imagination in Hawthorne's and the Stoddard's Books for Children
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Language, Literature and Intercultural Studies. (Kulturvetenskapliga forskningsmiljön (KUFO))ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7640-0639
2014 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Framing the Fairy Tale: Nation-Building and Imagination in Hawthorne’s and the Stoddards’ Nineteenth-Century Books for Children

 

In the antebellum U.S., the predominant modes in American children’s literature were didacticism and moralism, and although translations of the Grimms’s and Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales were available, many American authors and publishers regarded fairy tales as unsuitable for the modern needs of a new nation. Nevertheless, there were American writers who, inspired by Andersen’s tales, published fairy tales in the 1850s, 60s, and 70s. These writers were instrumental in bringing about as well as recording important shifts in attitude in and towards American children’s literature during these three decades. Although, or rather precisely because, their literary reputations reached far beyond children’s literature, they helped establish it as a significant literary realm: after the Civil War, American children’s literature was considered worthy of the imaginative efforts of the best American writers, of reviews in prestigious journals, and of publication in quality periodicals.

 

In this paper, I will focus on the poet and editor Richard Henry Stoddard’s Adventures in Fairyland (1853) and the short-story writer and novelist Elizabeth Stoddard’s Lolly Dinks’s Doings (1874). Both of these writers use a domestic frame for their fairy tales, which I will argue has to do with the nation-building concerns of these children’s books. I will discuss the Stoddards’ frames in relation to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s in his popular children’s book with retellings of Greek myths: A Wonder-Book for Girls and Boys (1852).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014.
National Category
Humanities
Research subject
English
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-31926OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-31926DiVA, id: diva2:712995
Conference
59th British Association for American Studies Annual Conference, University of Birmingham 10-13 April
Available from: 2014-04-17 Created: 2014-04-17 Last updated: 2014-11-21Bibliographically approved

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Holmgren Troy, Maria

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