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Cultural Encounters with the Arabian Nights in Nineteenth-Century Britain$
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Melissa Dickson

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474443647

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474443647.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 27 July 2021

‘For a time their world made mine’: Childhood Encounters with the Arabian Nights

‘For a time their world made mine’: Childhood Encounters with the Arabian Nights

Chapter:
(p.19) Chapter 1 ‘For a time their world made mine’: Childhood Encounters with the Arabian Nights
Source:
Cultural Encounters with the Arabian Nights in Nineteenth-Century Britain
Author(s):

Melissa Dickson

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474443647.003.0002

This chapter focuses on acts of reading, and on the nature and circumstances of childhood encounters with the Arabian Nights in Britain, both as a collection of narratives and as a series of objects such as books, pictures, and toy theatres. Despite their association with the innocent joys of childhood throughout the nineteenth century, the tales of the Arabian Nights were neither written nor designed for children. It was their abiding attraction to children that led to their designation as children’s literature, and also to their continued use as metaphors for adult fantasies and constructions of childhood. As the time and space of childhood were increasingly associated with the time and space of these Oriental tales, the Arabian Nights came to operate not only as a souvenir of childhood, but as metonymic of childhood itself: exciting, unpredictable, and culturally and temporally other.

Keywords:   Childhood, Children’s Literature, Book History, Memory, Autobiography, Brontë, Dickens

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