Login   Register     FAQ    Members

View unanswered posts   View active topics


Board index .:|:. Sharing the Hanes :: Community .:|:. The Rose Garden
It is currently 23 Mar 2017, 15:09



Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 12 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Classic "Children"'s Literature
PostPosted: 18 Feb 2017, 04:21 
Offline
Finding out about the Sale
Finding out about the Sale

Joined: 17 Nov 2011, 02:45
Posts: 837
I went into a charity shop where "this week's display" was "classic children's literature".

Included was,Rupert - originally a device to sell newspapers to adults, Treasure Island - an early YA novel but in an abridged version and Robinson Crusoe - an adult novel.

I'm just interested in what people think of books originally intended for adults (like Gulliver's Travels) that have ended up being regarded as children's books.


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Classic "Children"'s Literature
PostPosted: 18 Feb 2017, 09:25 
Online
Rescuing a Junior from the lake
Rescuing a Junior from the lake
User avatar

Joined: 15 Oct 2004, 13:57
Posts: 7652
Location: Manchester
I think Jonathan Swift would be rather put out that Gulliver's Travels, which was intended as a political satire, had been reclassified as a cross between a Boys' Own adventure book and a fairy tale :lol:. With Rupert etc, I suppose it's just nice that they've kept going so long, even if not in the way they were intended.

I think the trouble with Robinson Crusoe, in particular, was that it was so long and waffly that abridged versions were produced to try to make it more readable, and those versions then appealed more to children. The children's versions are much better :lol: .

_________________
We really must stop eating like this ...

Minds are like parachutes - they only function when open.

http://setinthepast.wordpress.com/




Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Classic "Children"'s Literature
PostPosted: 18 Feb 2017, 12:06 
Offline
Donating it to the Childrens' Ward
Donating it to the Childrens' Ward

Joined: 22 Feb 2008, 18:42
Posts: 1062
Location: Perthshire
Interesting topic, Victoria. I've been reading quite a lot about the 'making of children's literature' for my degree and people definitely grapple with definitions - does something become children's literature because it is read by children, or written for children (or by them, in rare cases!). And what makes a classic? Is it a good story that has endured? Does it have to be well-written and, in that case, do abridgements/retellings count?

Or is it simply what a publisher has decided is children's literature and has branded it as such?

Looking at 'my' sort of books, what makes Little Women and Jo to the Rescue 'children's' books while Emma and Jane Eyre are generally considered to be adult books?


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Classic "Children"'s Literature
PostPosted: 19 Feb 2017, 14:28 
Offline
Glad to be back at school
Glad to be back at school
User avatar

Joined: 20 Jul 2012, 13:07
Posts: 1191
Location: Fife, Scotland
JS wrote:
Interesting topic, Victoria. I've been reading quite a lot about the 'making of children's literature' for my degree and people definitely grapple with definitions - does something become children's literature because it is read by children, or written for children (or by them, in rare cases!). And what makes a classic? Is it a good story that has endured? Does it have to be well-written and, in that case, do abridgements/retellings count?

Or is it simply what a publisher has decided is children's literature and has branded it as such?

Looking at 'my' sort of books, what makes Little Women and Jo to the Rescue 'children's' books while Emma and Jane Eyre are generally considered to be adult books?



I don't consider Little Women, especially its later sequels as being children's lit.

You've also got to look at the book covers - Little Women has definitely been published with the Penguin black and white spine. Harry Potter has both more children's covers and then you have the "adult" ones too.

_________________
Every life is both ordinary and extraordinary – it is the respective proportions of those two categories that make that life appear interesting or humdrum.
William Boyd//Any Human Heart


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Classic "Children"'s Literature
PostPosted: 19 Feb 2017, 15:53 
Offline
Jolly good hols...
Jolly good hols...

Joined: 29 Dec 2004, 17:16
Posts: 1158
Location: Ontario, Canada
I tend to think of Little Woman and Good Wives, at least, as being suitable for both children and adults, although perhaps that's a generational thing, as my board name betrays my age group! Certainly I was given my first copy for my 8th birthday, although I don't recall whether it contained both stories. I agree that the ideas behind Little Men and especially Jo's Boys are more adult in concept though. As it happens, I read Jane Eyre which certainly can't count as children's literature, for the first time before I was 10, much to the horror of a local head-master, who couldn't see how I could possibly understand it - until he questioned me on it!! It remains a favourite re-read all these years later.


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Classic "Children"'s Literature
PostPosted: 20 Feb 2017, 02:44 
Offline
Concerned about new girl
Concerned about new girl

Joined: 20 Jan 2004, 00:49
Posts: 1913
Location: midwestern US
Given the way the author addressed her readers, e.g.
Quote:
Don't laugh at the spinsters, dear girls....
and
Quote:
Gentlemen, which means boys,...
I'd say that Alcott thought she was addressing younger readers. (Both of these are from Little Women Chapter 43, so in Part II, which you all would probably consider Good Wives.) Of course, that hasn't stopped me from just finishing the umpteenth reread since I devoured my mother's childhood 7-volume set back in the dark ages. Little Women, Little Men, Jo's Boys, An Old Fashioned Girl, Under the Lilacs, Eight Cousins, Rose in Bloom. We had to borrow Jack and Jill elsewhere, as it had mysteriously disappeared. Of these, the one I remember thinking "too young" at the ripe old age of 9 or 10 was Under the Lilacs, but none of them seemed "too old." Jane Eyre, on the other hand, was of no interest to me as a child once she left school.

But I wonder how many kids read Alcott for fun these days, given that two of my university students just asked me what "erroneous" meant on an exam. I am wondering what they'd make of "philoprogenitiveness." :lol: (LW chapter 45)

_________________
Castor oil: Triacylglycerol from Ricinus communis containing hydroxy-fatty acids.


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Classic "Children"'s Literature
PostPosted: 20 Feb 2017, 12:05 
Offline
Being rescued by Dr Ackles
Being rescued by Dr Ackles
User avatar

Joined: 05 Feb 2005, 15:55
Posts: 2582
Location: London
Little Women is definitely classed as children's literature as it was commissioned for girls. I suppose today it would be 'YA'. There's a wikipedia entry that's quite interesting:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Wo ... on_history
(I now work in publishing following a career change)


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Classic "Children"'s Literature
PostPosted: 20 Feb 2017, 12:26 
Online
Rescuing a Junior from the lake
Rescuing a Junior from the lake
User avatar

Joined: 15 Oct 2004, 13:57
Posts: 7652
Location: Manchester
That is interesting. I find it quite sad that people decry Little Women and Good Wives as turning women's fiction into "hearth and home" literature. Jo lives in New York on her own and pursues a career, and Amy gets to travel round Europe. Even Meg's life is hardly domestic bliss: she has to cope with the real world problems of managing on a budget. And this was written at the same time as, for example, the first of the infamous Elsie books! The girls all actually achieve a lot more than Laurie, who, being rich and male, has every opportunity, but just dosses about wasting time and money until Amy tells him to get his act together!

_________________
We really must stop eating like this ...

Minds are like parachutes - they only function when open.

http://setinthepast.wordpress.com/




Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Classic "Children"'s Literature
PostPosted: 20 Feb 2017, 16:03 
Offline
Somehow making an enemy
Somehow making an enemy
User avatar

Joined: 13 Aug 2012, 22:37
Posts: 246
Kathy_S wrote:
Given the way the author addressed her readers, e.g.
Quote:
Don't laugh at the spinsters, dear girls....
and
Quote:
Gentlemen, which means boys,...

But I wonder how many kids read Alcott for fun these days, given that two of my university students just asked me what "erroneous" meant on an exam. I am wondering what they'd make of "philoprogenitiveness." :lol: (LW chapter 45)


I am happy to be able to report that a quick look around year 6 (age 10/11) this morning showed two girls reading Little Women at this very moment!


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Classic "Children"'s Literature
PostPosted: 20 Feb 2017, 20:46 
Offline
Discovering you have to be trilingual

Joined: 19 Nov 2015, 19:38
Posts: 58
For me the best children's literature has been enjoyed and loved and re-read as a child, then as an adult and from more than six decades of reading, given me insights to character and Life ever since. So Chalet, Anne, Traveller in Time, Little Women, Pride and Prejudice just get better with age. However Blyton can bring back childhood but not much adult interest.


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Classic "Children"'s Literature
PostPosted: 21 Feb 2017, 10:54 
Offline
Discovering ink blots in your Latin prep
Discovering ink blots in your Latin prep
User avatar

Joined: 07 Jul 2006, 19:11
Posts: 259
Location: Glasgow
I think part of what makes a book a classic, is that it gets better upon re-reading. I suppose that contributes to the confusion about children's classics as well, you might start them when younger and then get different things out of them when you are older. Gullivers travels can read as completely different books as mentioned earlier- adventure story or as originally intended. Again, Little Women was pure enjoyment when younger, but as an adult I can appreciate Alcott's feminism coming through. In School at, I now marvel at Madge's independence.

I have read Anne of the Island (at the very least, often the full series minus the retrospectives) at least once a year since I first tracked down the series in primary 6 after we read Anne of Green Gables in class. It is the book I keep in my bag if I'm nervous before an interview or a meeting , or have sitting beside me buried under tissues if I have been ill. I'm sure it's classed as a children's book, and perhaps not even as a classic one (although surely Green Gables at least is?!) but I'm planning on continuing to keep reading it for a very long time.

ETA: I completely agree with NanaG's post.

_________________
She is too fond of books and it has turned her brain - Louisa May Alcott


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Classic "Children"'s Literature
PostPosted: 21 Feb 2017, 15:45 
Offline
Going to tea at Freudesheim
Going to tea at Freudesheim
User avatar

Joined: 22 Jun 2010, 18:58
Posts: 133
Location: Moved
Interesting isn't it, how some are seen as classics. The Anne books would be on my list too along with Little Women etc I think sometimes the genre was not considered 'proper' literature because of the old gender/cultural/ethnic bias that seemed to think only white men wrote anything of value. Women authors were only considered as childrens/female writers. Personally I love kids books as I find they present the mores of their period better than the others.(We wouldn't want all our nice middle class children getting the wrong ideas would we). I did my project at university on childrens books. Dickins is always interesting too as, I think, he wrote for a family audience.

_________________
Google can bring you back 100,000 answers, a librarian can bring you back the right one. Neil Gaiman


Top | End
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 12 posts ] 

Board index .:|:. Sharing the Hanes :: Community .:|:. The Rose Garden
It is currently 23 Mar 2017, 15:09

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group