Peter, Potter, Rabbits, Robbers

Authors

  • Rose Lovell-Smith University of Auckland, New Zealand

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.21153/pecl2009vol19no1art1154

Keywords:

Beatrix Potter, fantasy, realism, cultural contexts, literary contexts

Abstract

Critical discourses about realism and fantasy in children's literature have in the past included discussion of the merits, and demerits, of these conventions as they differently engage child readers. Beatrix Potter's works, situated at an intersection of the two literary conventions, seem to me rather to invite a useful complication of the distinction commonly made between them. Potter is clearly a fantasist. Yet aspects of her work support a scholarly tendency to claim her for realism, and this is often done by connecting Potter's life and works. In this essay I join those who have turned Potter studies towards investigating the cultural and literary contexts within which she worked.

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Author Biography

Rose Lovell-Smith, University of Auckland, New Zealand

Rose Lovell-Smith is a Senior Lecturer in the English Department, University of Auckland, where she convenes a course called Children’s Literature: Words and Pictures. Her teaching and research interests include nineteenth- century fiction, feminist writing and women’s fiction, oral literature and the fairy tale, and women’s rewriting of fairy tales. She is currently working on a historical study of the illustrated book for older children, which will contain a chapter on Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit Series, and has published recently on the natural history contexts of both words and pictures in Lewis Carroll’s Alice books.

References

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Published

2009-01-01

How to Cite

Lovell-Smith, R. (2009) “Peter, Potter, Rabbits, Robbers”, Papers: Explorations into Children’s Literature, 19(1), pp. 17–29. doi: 10.21153/pecl2009vol19no1art1154.

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Articles