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"The great fairy science" : the marriage of natural history and fantasy in Victorian children's literature

Author: Joseph D Green; Nancy Martha West
Publisher: Columbia, Mo. : University of Missouri--Columbia, 2009.
Dissertation: Ph. D. University of Missouri--Columbia 2009.
Edition/Format:   Thesis/dissertation : Document : Thesis/dissertation : eBook   Computer File : English
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
This dissertation explores the merging of two unlikely literary - natural history writing and fantasy - as a subgenre of mid - to late nineteenth century British children's literature. Tailoring natural history for children, the religiously-motivated writers discussed in this study desired to instill in their readers a respect and appreciation for nature. As the nineteenth century advanced, the natural world for  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Electronic dissertations
Electronic books
Named Person: Alfred Gatty, Mrs.; Arabella B Buckley; Charles Kingsley
Material Type: Document, Thesis/dissertation, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Joseph D Green; Nancy Martha West
OCLC Number: 698377976
Notes: The entire thesis text is included in the research.pdf file; the official abstract appears in the short.pdf file; a non-technical public abstract appears in the public.pdf file.
Title from PDF of title page (University of Missouri--Columbia, viewed on Jan. 26, 2011).
Thesis advisor: Dr. Nancy West.
Vita.
Description: 1 online resource : ill.
Responsibility: by Joseph Green.

Abstract:

This dissertation explores the merging of two unlikely literary - natural history writing and fantasy - as a subgenre of mid - to late nineteenth century British children's literature. Tailoring natural history for children, the religiously-motivated writers discussed in this study desired to instill in their readers a respect and appreciation for nature. As the nineteenth century advanced, the natural world for many Victorians slowly lost its moral and divine significance in the face of rapid economic, technological, and scientific change. From the natural theology of Margaret Gatty to the providence-guided evolution of Charles Kingsley to the spirituality of Arabella Buckley, I contend that these writers coupled fantasy with science and natural history to invest nature again with the wonder and mystery that modernity had taken away.

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