Books for Children, Books for Adults

Age and the Novel from Defoe to James

Books for Children, Books for Adults

In this groundbreaking and wide-ranging study, Teresa Michals explores why some books originally written for a mixed-age audience, such as Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, eventually became children's literature, while others, such as Samuel Richardson's Pamela, became adult novels. Michals considers how historically specific ideas about age shaped not only the readership of novels, but also the ways that characters are represented within them. Arguing that age is first understood through social status, and later through the ideal of psychological development, the book examines the new determination of authors at the end of the nineteenth century, such as Henry James, to write for an audience of adults only. In these novels and in their reception, a world of masters and servants became a world of adults and children.


 Reviews:

"Books for Children, Books for Adults is a detailed, and … engaging blend of publishing and reception history, textual analysis and cultural context."
Alexandra Lawrie, The Times Literary Supplement

'A significant addition to the familiar story of 'the rise of the novel'.' Times Higher Education

'Books for Children, Books for Adults is a detailed, and … engaging blend of publishing and reception history, textual analysis and cultural context.' Alexandra Lawrie, The Times Literary Supplement


 Prizes:

Honor Book for the 2016 Book Award, Children's Literature Association
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