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Malory's Magic Book: King Arthur in Children's Literature, 1862-1960.

McCausland, Elly (2015) Malory's Magic Book: King Arthur in Children's Literature, 1862-1960. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

This thesis examines adaptations of Thomas Malory’s 'Morte Darthur' produced for children between 1862 and 1960. It aims to interrogate the complex link between children and the Arthurian legend that has existed since J. T. Knowles’s first adaptation for a juvenile audience in 1862, and which remains strong today. By comparing authors’ alterations to their medieval source, I explore the ‘child’ as a discursive construct, as a mutable and protean category that is equally revelatory of assumptions about adult identity as about childhood itself. Tracing adaptations of the 'Morte' chronologically, I examine the ways in which they participate in wider cultural dialogues relating to national heritage, citizenship, mental health and masculine development through their representations of childhood. Against the backdrop of empire, changes in educational policy, the increasing application of psychology to childcare and two world wars, the diverse ways in which this versatile text is offered as relevant to children illuminates both shifting conceptions of childhood and the complex relationship between adapters and their imagined child readers. This study contributes to enquiries regarding the refashioning of Arthur and the function and manifestation of medievalism, and to studies of children’s literature, by illuminating the ways in which the elusive ‘child’ has been used to focus shifting perceptions regarding the essence and significance of the Arthurian legend over a century.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of York > English and Related Literature (York)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.682334
Depositing User: Miss Elly McCausland
Date Deposited: 13 Apr 2016 13:43
Last Modified: 08 May 2018 10:01
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/12432

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