Breaking the Angelic Image: Woman Power in Victorian Children's Fantasy

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Greenwood Press, 1988 - Literary Criticism - 156 pages
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Honig's short, pleasantly written book is a consideration of the images of women--as mothers, spinsters, girls, and supernatural women--in 19th-and early 20th-century fantasy novels for children. . . . Honig sees fantasy as a means of freeing women from the Victorian social restraints--at first, imaginatively. "Choice"

This is the first book-length study of nineteenth-century children's fantasy from a feminist viewpoint. Honig focuses on a number of major works that are representative of the best of their era--including such classics as "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" by Lewis Caroll; "The Golden Key," "The Princess and the Goblin," and others by George MacDonald; the works of Mary Louisa Molesworth; "Peter and Wendy" by James Barrie; "The Five Children and It"and "The Enchanted Castle" by Edith Nesbit. Through a close reading of these fantasies Honig demonstrates that although Victorian women were still being repressed in the home and the marketplace, the female figure in literature played a role that was quite different from the traditional stereotype of the meek, submissive wife and mother.

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Contents

Introduction
1
Life Still Held Some Charm
41
Breaking the Angelic Image
65
Copyright

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About the author (1988)

EDITH LAZAROS HONIG teaches English in New York City.

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