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Description - Nineteenth-Century Fictions of Childhood and the Politics of Play by Michelle Beissel Heath

Drawing evidence from transatlantic literary texts of childhood as well as from nineteenth and early twentieth century children's and family card, board, and parlor games and games manuals, Nineteenth-Century Fictions of Childhood and the Politics of Play aims to reveal what might be thought of as "playful literary citizenship," or some of the motivations inherent in later nineteenth and early twentieth century Anglo-American play pursuits as they relate to interest in shaping citizens through investment in "good" literature. Tracing play, as a societal and historical construct, as it surfaces time and again in children's literary texts as well as children's literary texts as they surface time and again in situations and environments of children's play, this book underscores how play and literature are consistently deployed in tandem in attempts to create ideal citizens - even as those ideals varied greatly and were dependent on factors such as gender, ethnicity, colonial status, and class.

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