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Title: The confrontation between religion and fantasy : a study of nineteenth-century children's Christian fantasy
Author: Chan , Michelle
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2012
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By examining the children's versions of The Faerie Queene and The Pilgrim '5 Progress, A.L.O.E.'s The Giant Killer: or the Battle that We must Fight (1856), The Young Pilgrim (1857) and Miracles oj Heavenly Love in Doily Life (1864), Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventure in Wonderland (\865) and Through the Looking-Glass: and What Alice Found There (1872), Christina Rossetti's Speaking Likenesses (1873), Charles Kingsley's The Water-Babies or a Fairy-Tale for a Land Baby (1863), and George MacDonald's 'The Golden Key' (1867) and At the Bock of the North Wind (1871), this thesis provides a collective study of nineteenth-century children's Christian fantasy. This genre is comparatively under-researched mainly because of the multifarious ways of understanding Christian beliefs and fantasy writings. Nevertheless, this complex and engaging issue enriches the interplay between Christian doctrine and fantastic narration. Indeed, authors were strategically expanding and exploiting the various patterns of these interplays in their children's books. In this thesis, the investigation of the selected texts will show how authors' individual and personal interpretation of their Christian belief and fantasy are intrinsic to form a unique combination between the two entities, while at the same time, to generate a work that echoes other children's Christian fantasies. On top of that, this genre also addresses the educative-entertaining debate, offers a re-examination of religious beliefs in children's books, and recognises the inextricability of fantasy from religious writings and children's literature. At the same time, it also reflects the social, intellectual and scientific developments of the nineteenth century. This thesis will demonstrate that owing to the dynamic interplay of Christian elements and fantasy, children's Christian fantasy becomes a literary middle ground that embodies various debates and argument concerning children's literature in the nineteenth century. Although all the selected authors are different from each other in terms of their beliefs and their literary achievements, they all shared the same intention of writing for the spiritual and emotional benefit of their readers.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available