The Reception of Ancient Greece and Rome in Children’s Literature: Heroes and Eagles investigates the varying receptions of Ancient Greece and Rome in children’s literature, covering the genres of historical fiction, fantasy, mystery stories and classical mythology, and considering the ideological manipulations in these works.
classical reception and children s literature
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Reception studies have transformed the classics. Many more literary and cultural texts are now regarded as 'valid' for classical study. And within this process of widening, children's literature has in its turn emerged as being increasingly important. Books written for children now comprise one of the largest and most prominent bodies of texts to engage with the classical world, with an audience that constantly changes as it grows up. This innovative volume wrestles with that very characteristic of change which is so fundamental to children's literature, showing how significant the classics, as well as classically-inspired fiction and verse, have been in tackling the adolescent challenges posed by metamorphosis. Chapters address such themes as the use made by C S Lewis, in The Horse and his Boy, of Apuleius' The Golden Ass; how Ovidian myth frames the Narnia stories; classical 'nonsense' in Edward Lear; Pan as a powerful symbol of change in children's literature, for instance in The Wind in the Willows; the transformative power of the Orpheus myth; and how works for children have handled the teaching of the classics.
Reception studies have transformed the classics. Many more literary and cultural texts are now regarded as ‘valid’ for classical study. And within this process of widening, children’s literature has in its turn emerged as being increasingly important. Books written for children now comprise one of the largest and most prominent bodies of texts to engage with the classical world, with an audience that constantly changes as it grows up. This innovative volume wrestles with that very characteristic of change which is so fundamental to children’s literature, showing how significant the classics, as well as classically-inspired fiction and verse, have been in tackling the adolescent challenges posed by metamorphosis. Chapters address such themes as the use made by C S Lewis, in The Horse and his Boy, of Apuleius’ The Golden Ass; how Ovidian myth frames the Narnia stories; classical ‘nonsense’ in Edward Lear; Pan as a powerful symbol of change in children’s literature, for instance in The Wind in the Willows; the transformative power of the Orpheus myth; and how works for children have handled the teaching of the classics.
In The CLassics and Children's Literature between West and East a team of contributors from different continents offers a survey of the reception of Classical Antiquity in children’s and young adults’ literature by applying regional perspectives.
The dissemination of classical material to children has long been a major form of popularization with far-reaching effects, although until very recently it has received almost no attention within the growing field of classical reception studies. This volume explores the ways in which children encountered the world of ancient Greece and Rome in Britain and the United States over a century-long period beginning in the 1850s, as well as adults' literary responses to their own childhood encounters with antiquity. Rather than discussing the role of classics in education, it focuses on books read for enjoyment, and on two genres of children's literature in particular: the myth collection and the historical novel. The tradition of myths retold as children's stories is traced in the work of writers and illustrators from Nathaniel Hawthorne and Charles Kingsley to Roger Lancelyn Green and Ingri and Edgar Parin D'Aulaire, while the discussion of historical fiction focuses particularly on the roles of nationality and gender in the construction of an ancient world for modern children. The book concludes with an investigation of the connections between childhood and antiquity made by writers for adults, including James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, and H.D. Recognition of the fundamental role in children's literature of adults' ideas about what children want or need is balanced throughout by attention to the ways in which child readers have made such works their own. The formative experiences of antiquity discussed throughout help to explain why despite growing uncertainty about the appeal of antiquity to modern children, the classical past remains perennially interesting and inspiring.
Beginning with Rudyard Kipling and Edith Nesbit and concluding with best-selling series still ongoing at the time of writing, this volume examines works of twentieth- and twenty-first-century children's literature that incorporate character types, settings, and narratives derived from the Greco-Roman past. Drawing on a cognitive poetics approach to reception studies, it argues that authors typically employ a limited and powerful set of spatial metaphors - palimpsest, map, and fractal - to organize the classical past for preteen and adolescent readers. Palimpsest texts see the past as a collection of strata in which each new era forms a layer superimposed upon a foundation laid earlier; map texts use the metaphor of the mappable journey to represent a protagonist's process of maturing while gaining knowledge of the self and/or the world; fractal texts, in which small parts of the narrative are thematically identical to the whole, present the past in a way that implies that history is infinitely repeatable. While a given text may embrace multiple metaphors in presenting the past, associations between dominant metaphors, genre, and outlook emerge from the case studies examined in each chapter, revealing remarkable thematic continuities in how the past is represented and how agency is attributed to protagonists: each model, it is suggested, uses the classical past to urge and thus perhaps to develop a particular approach to life.
Although a number of general books about ancient education have been published over the last few decades, none of these books emphasize the teacher. The Teacher in Ancient Rome: The Magister and His World, by Lisa Maurice, aims to correct this and provides a wide-ranging survey of the personal and professional life of the schoolteacher in ancient Rome. This in-depth study fills a significant gap in the literature of Roman history and ancient education.
This important collection of essays both contributes to the expanding field of classical reception studies and seeks to extend it. Focusing on nineteenth- and twentieth-century Britain, it looks at a range of different genres (epic, novel, lyric, tragedy, political pamphlet). Within the published texts considered, the usual range of genres dealt with elsewhere is extended by chapters on books for children, and those in which childhood and memories of childhood are informed by antiquity; and also by a multi-genre case study of a highly unusual subject, Spartacus. "Remaking the Classics" also goes beyond books to dramatic performance, and beyond the theatre to radio - a medium of enormous power and influence from the 1920s to the 1960s, whose role in the reception of classics is largely unexplored. The variety of genres and of media considered in the book is balanced both by the focus on Britain in a specific time period, and by an overlap of subject-matter between chapters: the three chapters on twentieth-century drama, for example, range from performance strategies to post-colonial contexts.The book thus combines the consolidation of a field with an attempt to push it in new and exciting directions.
This volume presents a series of papers which cover the general theme of the reception of antiquity, a topic which has in recent years become a discipline in itself, or what some might call a 'cross-discipline'. Indeed the Nachleben of the (culture of) classical antiquity, and of antiquity as a whole, manifests in a number of diverse domains, opening up the field of reception studies to scholars from disciplines other than Classics. This collection of papers illustrates this diversity, uniting as it does original research by scholars from a variety of disciplines: classicists, historians, theatre historians, architectural historians, psychologists, archaeologists, artists, and more, all of whom have treated some aspect of the so-called 'classical tradition' by means of their own individual approaches, leading to a volume rich and dense in themes and methodologies. 'Receptions of antiquity' has been written by friends of Freddy Decreus, in honour of his career, and in celebration of his thought.
Few classical stories are as exciting as that of Jason and the Golden Fleece. The stirring tale of an adventurer who was also the son of a disenfranchised king and a daring sea-captain has resonated through the ages, rumbling and echoing like the clashing rocks which almost pulverised the Argo. The themes of the legend are perennial, and endlessly engaging. Even while it tells of a quest to the ends of the earth, of the villainous usurper King Pelias, of dragons' teeth, of the loss of Hylas (beloved of Hercules) ravished by nymphs, and of Jason's passionate liaison with the sorceress Medea, it speaks to us of more: of gender and sexuality; of heroism and lost integrity; of powerful gods and terrifying monsters; of identity and otherness; of exploration and exploitation. The Argonauts are emblems of collective heroism, yet also of the emptiness of glory. From Pindar to J. W. Waterhouse, Apollonius of Rhodes to Ray Harryhausen, and Robert Graves to Mary Zimmerman, the Argonaut myth has inspired later interpretations as rich and diverse as the ancient versions. Helen Lovatt here unravels the various strands of the tangled narrative and its numerous and fascinating afterlives in a book that will both inform and endlessly entertain all those who love classical literature and myth.