Children’s Lit Course

The original Jane Austen course, I was intending to take, was canceled due to low enrollment. Who knew not everyone loved Mr. Darcy as much as I. So trade in your  marital machinations and empire waistlines for some milk and biscuits cause we’re getting our Scholastics on.

Take two. Now I will be attending an Edwardian Children’s Literature Course through University of Oxford’s Continuing Education program. Here’s the link with more information.

PeterandWendyPicsecret garden pic2WinnieThePoohpicWindinthewillowspic

The reading list includes J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan; A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh; Frances Hodgson Burnett’s Secret Garden and Kenneth Graham’s The Wind in the Willows. Just for kicks, I’ll be sure to also revisit C.S Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia; Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland; and Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit among others. What a magical and mystical way to explore Mythological, Psychoanalytic  (read that, Freudian), Feminist, and New Historicist literary criticism while at the same time simply becoming a kid again.

Essay Final Course Essay – Houses as Self in Peter Pan

WEEK 1 – Locating Nostalgia. Winnie the Pooh and Narration

I actually missed the first class 9/30/13 due to a late arrival in the U.K. Bugger!

WEEK 2 – The Life and Times of Christopher Robin Milne and that Bear


Week 2 Notes – Nostalgia – some ideas I’ve had regarding nostalgia, connecting children’s lit, British culture, and my own personal life

Annotated Bibliography Here’s a selection of texts recommended by Professor Zadrozny

PowepointChildren’s Literature A.A. Milne

Some more illuminating criticism on Winnie the Pooh

1. “Waiting in the Hundred Acre Wood: Childhood, Narrative and Time in A. A. Milne’s Works for Children” by Paul Wake Winnie the Pooh Article

2. “A Taste of Nostalgia: Children’s Books from the Golden Age–Carroll, Grahame, and Milne” by Robert Hemmings Winnie the Pooh Article 2

Essay questions for Children‘s Lit Course

WEEK 3 – Anthropomorphized characters and humor in The Wind and the Willows


Kenneth Grahame – Scottish author of Wind and the Willows, buried at Holywell Cemetery in Oxford under an unceremonious headstone.

Kenneth Graham/Wind in the Willows Powerpoint Kenneth Grahame The Wind in the Willows 14 Oct 2013

“Gender Trouble in Arcadia or a world of multigendered possibility? Intersubjectivity and gender in The Wind in the Willows” by Claire Walsh   WindinWillowsArticle1

“Bodies and Pleasures in The Wind in the Willows” by Cynthia Marshall WindinWillowsArticle2

“The Mythological Present of The Wind in the Willows” by Lois R. Kuznets WindandWillowsArticle3

“Kenneth Grahame’s Creation of a Wild Wood” by Juanita Price WindinWillowsArticle4

“‘Making a Break for the Real England’: The River Bankers Revisited” by  Tony Watkins windandwillowsarticle5

Great quotes:

“Today, to him gazing south with a new-born need stirring in his heart, the clear sky over their long low outline seemed to pulsate with promise; today, the unseen was everything. the unknown the only real fact of life.”
― Kenneth GrahameThe Wind in the Willows

“Take the adventure, heed the call, now ere the irrevocable moment passes! ‘Tis but a banging of the door behind you, a blithesome step forward, and you are out of your old life and into the new!”
― Kenneth Grahame

WEEK 4 – The Politics of Beatrix Potter


Apparently, Emma Thompson has written another Peter Rabbit tale in honor of its 110 anniversary. Quite Charming.

Interesting Criticism on Peter Rabbit

“Radical Qualities of The Tale of Peter Rabbit”  by Eliza T. Dresang BeatrixPotterArticle1

“An Unusual Hero: Perspective and Point of View in The Tale of Peter Rabbit” by  Carole Scott BeatrixPotterArticle2

“(Helen) Beatrix Potter: British Children’s writer ( 1866 – 1943 ” by Ruth K. MacDonald – interesting article about Pottter’s life BeatricePotterArticle3

Miss Potter Movie Renee ZelweggerJust watched this film the other night – not bad! Mostly accurate details of Beatrix Potter’s life.

WEEK 5: Peter Pan and J.M. Barrie, family, friends and Freud

jmbarriepicJ. M. Barrie – Scottish writer and playwright, most known for Peter Pan

The Llewelyn Davies Boys, whom Peter Pan was based on.The Llewelyn Davies Boys, on whom Peter Pan was based.

Interesting, yet creepy, take on J.M. Barrie – “The Monster of Neverland: How JM Barrie did a ‘Peter Pan” and stole another couple’s children” by Tony Rennell

J.M. Barrie Biography

hookmoviepicThis Robin Williams film Hook is surprisingly the closest film in spirit to the book. Themes of forgetting, illusion versus reality, lineage and generations, and agism are all highlighted an explored.

FindingNeverlandpic Finding Neverland explores the life of J. M. Barrie and his connection to the Davies family and the inspiration for Peter Pan. It definitely romanticizes the relationship between Barrie and Sylvia Llewelyn Davies, the mother of the 5 boys.

Interesting Articles:

1. “Hauntings: Anxiety, Technology, and Gender in Peter Pan” by  Ann Wilson Peterpanarticle1

2. “Peter Pan, the Novel: J. M. Barrie’s Twentieth-Century Image of the Eternal Boy” by Ann Yeoman PeterPanArticle2

3. The Case of Peter Pan; Or, the Impossibility of Children’s Fiction by  Jacqueline Rose PeterPanArticle3

4. “The Lost Boy Who Wrote Peter Pan” by Kay McPherson PeterPanArticle4

5. “The Neverland of Id: Barrie, Peter Pan, and Freud” by Michael Egan PeterPanArticle5

6. “The Shadow of the Object in Peter Pan” by Eyal Amiran PeterPanArticle6

7. J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan In and Out of Time  edited by Donna R. White and C. Anita Tarr

8. “The Kiss in a Box” by Richard Rotert PeterPanArticle7

Great Quotes from Peter Pan

“All of this has happened before, and it will all happen again.”
― J.M. BarriePeter Pan

“I suppose it’s like the ticking crocodile, isn’t it? Time is chasing after all of us.”
― J.M. BarriePeter Pan

“Just always be waiting for me.”
― J.M. BarriePeter Pan

“When ladies used to come to me in dreams, I said, ‘Pretty mother, pretty mother.’ But when at last she really came, I shot her.”
― J.M. BarriePeter Pan

“Sometimes, though not often, he had dreams, and they were more painful than the dreams of other boys. For hours he could not be separated from these dreams, though he wailed piteously in them. They had to do, I think, with the riddle of his existence.”
― J.M. BarriePeter Pan

“He did not alarm her, for she thought she had seen him before in the faces of many women who have no children. Perhaps he is to be found in the faces of some mothers also.”
― J.M. BarriePeter Pan

“Never say good-bye because saying good-bye means going away and going away means forgetting.”
― J.M. BarriePeter Pan

“Absence makes the heart grow fonder… or forgetful.”
― J.M. BarriePeter Pan

Week 6: Parody and language in Peter Pan

Class cancelled due to train delays.

Week 7: Parody and Language in Peter Pan / Humour in Edwardian Children’s books

Peter Pan powerpoint

Week 8: Girls in Edwardian Children’s Literature

Francis Hodgson Burnett

Frances Hodgson Burnett

“The Secret Garden (1909) is one of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s most popular novels. The book tells the story of Mary Lennox, a spoiled, contrary, solitary child raised in India but sent to live in her uncle’s manor in Yorkshire after her parents’ death. She is left to herself by her uncle, Mr. Craven, who travels often to escape the memory of his deceased wife. The only person who has time for Mary is her chambermaid, Martha. It is Martha who tells Mary about Mrs. Craven’s walled garden, which has been closed and locked since her death. Mary becomes intrigued by the prospect of the forgotten garden, and her quest to find out the garden’s secrets leads her to discover other secrets hidden in the manor. These discoveries combined with the unlikely friendships she makes along the way help Mary come out of her shell and find new fascination with the world around her.  Source: Burnett, F. H. (1909). The Secret Garden. London, England: F. H. Burnett.”                  

Biography of Frances Hodgson Burnett

Secret Garden Films

Secret garden 19931993 film verson of the Secret Garden (Not bad production – Mary Lennox comes off much colder and meaner in the book. The film also doesn’t give her the stringy blonde hair, but overall it picked up on many of the themes)

Interesting Criticism

1. “Wuthering Heights and The Secret Garden: a response to Susan E. James ” by Anna Krugovoy Silver  Wuthering Heights Article

2. “Digging Up The Secret Garden: Noble Innocents or Little Savages?” by Christine Wilkie   Noble Savage Article

3. ” ‘Quite Contrary’: Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden” by Elizabeth Lennox Keyser Contrary Article

4.  ” ‘Us is near bein’ wild things ourselves’: Procreation and Sexuality in The Secret Garden”  by Ulf Boëthius  Sexuality in Secret Garden

5. “Class and Gender” by Phyllis Bixler  Class and Gender

6. “The Mem Sahib, the Worthy, the Rajah and His Minions: Some Reflections on the Class Politics of The Secret Garden”  by  Jerry Phillips Class Politics

Week 9: Nature and gender in The Secret Garden

Week 10: Goodbye to the garden – construction of the past in a selection of the books.


3 responses to “Children’s Lit Course

  1. Jane Cooper

    Hi jule, Can’t wait to hear the insights into children literature. I loce it. Again, I’m so lucjky to have you and Gina to live vicariously thru. Thank you. Love Aunt Jane

  2. Jane Cooper

    Julie, I’m so lucky to have you and Gina to live vicariously thru. Can’t wait to learn about Childrens Lit, just love it. Love,Aunt Jane

  3. amhey

    Alice in Wonderland is my very favorite book and I also like the Wind in the Willows.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s