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Literature of the 1900sThe Great Edwardian Emporium$
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Jonathan Wild

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780748635061

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748635061.001.0001

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Children’s Department: Edwardian Children’s Literature

Children’s Department: Edwardian Children’s Literature

(p.83) Chapter Three Children’s Department: Edwardian Children’s Literature
Literature of the 1900s

Jonathan Wild

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter focuses on the appearance of much memorable children's literature during what has come to be known as its ‘Golden Age’. Covering the work of three of the main innovators in this field, this chapter shows how new writers reinvented existing popular forms of writing for children to make them attractive and newly relevant for readers in the new century. It first looks at how Beatrix Potter's animal tales illustrate the ways in which new production techniques had comprehensively transformed the appearance of children's books at this time. The chapter then investigates the fiction of E. Nesbit, looking at the ways in which she modernised several forms of writing — in particular the fantastical tale and the family story — that had long proved popular with child readers. Finally, one of the most enduring genres of children's literature, the school story, is discussed through the work of P. G. Wodehouse.

Keywords:   children's literature, Beatrix Potter, E. Nesbit, P. G. Wodehouse, animal tales, children's books, fantastical tale, family story, school story, Edwardian children's literature

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