The Golden Age of Children’s Literature

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

Allison Speicher (Eastern Connecticut State University)
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In the eyes of many scholars, the moment Alice falls down the rabbit hole does not merely inaugurate her adventures in Wonderland: it also inaugurates a new period in the history of children’s literature. With its opening invocation of child-adult collaborative authorship, complex child-character, relish for nonsense, mockery of didactic precursors, escape to a fantastical landscape, and final vision of an ever-childlike protagonist, Lewis Carroll’s

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

(1865) exemplifies many of the characteristics that have come to define the Golden Age of children’s literature. The term, drawn from the title of Kenneth Grahame’s collection of childhood reminiscences (1895), was first applied by scholars Roger Lancelyn Green and Humphrey Carpenter to describe…

2834 words

Citation: Speicher, Allison. "The Golden Age of Children’s Literature". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 14 February 2024 [, accessed 15 April 2024.]

19729 The Golden Age of Children’s Literature 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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