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"A fascinating, capacious, and transformative study. Occasionally, I read a book that I know will change what I see in the world and in literature. This is one of those books."

"Nelson dips into a variety of 19th-century works, mostly novels, to examine the effort writersmade—through youthful characters but also through adults who refuse to grow up—to change society, especially to alter the way children were raised in Victorian England... The range of works is considered extensive and the book is convincing and readable."

"The chief value of her study is probably in its insights into individual texts, which will be of great interest to children's literature specialists and Dickens scholars in particular. But it is well worth considering these larger implications, and Victorianists in general will find the book both richly informative and thought-provoking."

"Precocious Children and Childish Adults certainly makes an important contribution to Victorian children's studies, but it also contributes more broadly to the study of gender, identity, race, class, and empire in the Victorian and Edwardian periods. Indeed, while the 'queering of age' at first seems a narrow concern, Nelson quickly reveals it to be an extraordinarily useful lens through which to observe the breakdown of all sorts of categories through which to see the entire period with new clarity."

"Claudia Nelson's enlightening study compels the reader to investigate the vexed and often unrecognised exchanges between childhood to adulthood in Victorian literature and culture."

"Sharp, articulate, erudite, and theoretically nuanced."

"The book offers a highly nuanced and evocative interpretive project that assembles cases from a variety of texts, including children's tales and adult fiction, in different registers and with diverse audiences. Nelson also engages contemporaneous theories of psychological development. In sheer breadth of coverage, the book is inspiring. It is a slim volume with great volume."

"Precocious Children lays a solid foundation for its claim that age inversion as a category is at least as important as gender or class in understanding the cultural dynamic of the era. Each chapter evinces extensive grounding in historical and critical writing about the texts under consideration."

"This text is essential reading for anyone interested in transcending static, simplistic constructs of Victorian childhood. Nelson's study provides a necessary framework with which to navigate the worldly-wise and the young at heart in nineteenth-century fiction."

"Precocious Children and Childish Adults is a powerful argument for the inclusion of age in literary analysis, and a study that is sure to generate a new body of work, not only among Victorian scholars but among all scholars interested in literature and childhood, from any time period and continent."

Precocious Children and Childish Adults
Age Inversion in Victorian Literature
Publication Date: 2 Jul 2012
Status: Available
Usually ships 2-3 business days after receipt of order.
Trim Size: 6" x 9"
Page Count: 224 pages
ISBN: 9781421405346