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Framing the Fairy Tale: Nation-Building and Imagination in Hawthorne’s and the Stoddards’ Nineteenth-Century 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, Abstract (Other academic)
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 begin with a brief discussion of Hawthorne’s popular Wonder-Book for Girls and Boys (1852), which is one of the two books in which he retells Greek myths as stories for children – or, if you will, as fairy tales. Then I will focus on Richard Henry Stoddard’s Adventures in Fairyland (1853) and the short-story writer and novelist Elizabeth Stoddard’s Lolly Dinks’s Doings (1874). All of these writers use a domestic frame for their fairy tales and myths; these frames, I will argue, address nation-building concerns as well as the question about the place of imagination and play in nineteenth-century American children’s books.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014.
Keyword [en]
American nineteenth-century fairy tales, Nathaniel Hawthorne, A Wonder Book for Girsl and Boys, Richard Henry Stoddard, Adventures in Fairyland, Elizabeth Stoddard, Lolly Dinks's Doings
National Category
Humanities
Research subject
English
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-34013OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-34013DiVA: diva2:752546
Conference
Eighth Biennial Conference of the Swedish Association for American Studies, Örebro, 26-27 September 2014
Available from: 2014-10-05 Created: 2014-10-05 Last updated: 2014-11-21Bibliographically approved

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Holmgren Troy, Maria
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