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.
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
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
“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 Grahame, The 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. http://www.bbcamerica.com/anglophenia/2013/09/watch-emma-thompson-hunts-peter-rabbit/
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
WEEK 5: Peter Pan and J.M. Barrie, family, friends and Freud
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 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1032076/The-monster-Neverland-How-JM-Barrie-did-Peter-Pan-stole-couples-children.html#ixzz2jORiCugj
J.M. Barrie Biography http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00mr8yj/profiles/j-m-barrie
This 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.
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.
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 http://chapters.scarecrowpress.com/08/108/0810854287ch1.pdf
8. “The Kiss in a Box” by Richard Rotert PeterPanArticle7
Great Quotes from Peter 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. Barrie, Peter 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
Week 8: Girls in Edwardian Children’s Literature
“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.” http://etc.usf.edu/lit2go/163/the-secret-garden/
Biography of Frances Hodgson Burnett http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Frances_Hodgson_Burnett
Secret Garden Films
1993 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)
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
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.