Niall, Brenda: Australia Through the Looking-Glass: Children''s Fiction 1830-1980.

Niall, Brenda - Australia Through the Looking-Glass: Children's Fiction 1830-1980. Melbourne University Press, 1984, 1st.

The development of children's literature is a small part of Australia's cultural history, but because of the vigilance with which children's books are monitored, they may reflect their society's values with special clarity. The French social historian, Paul Hazard, said in a much-quoted phrase that pre-war England 'could be reconstructed from its children's books'. In looking at a large number of Australian children's books, with a time-span of a centruy and a half, Brenda Niall kept Hazzard's claim in mind. What do children's books of that perios between 1830 and 1980 tell us about Australian society? Predictably, in a new country, the sense of nationhood is asserted rather than assumed. The relationship wiht the land is a constant preocupation, and a troubling one. Although most Australians live in coastal cities, they cannon, it seems, forget the vast inner spaces of teh continent. Our writers create contrasing images of the outback; and whether it si paradise or purgatory, dream or nightmare, it is still 'the real Australis'. ... ... (flap).

9" x 5¼", 372pp, green cloth, gold blocking, hardback. Illustrated in monochrome.

Ex-library (2 magnetic anti-theft strips in top-front corner of front paste-down; 'WITHDRAWN' stamps on verso of front-free endpaper, half-title, final-page and verso of back-free endpaper; library reference stamp on verso of title-page; remnants of library records on back endpapers); very good complete with very good (sunned spine and top-edge of front-panel; library reference numebrs at foot of spine; 1¼" x 3" library ID lable (Mildura Regional Library Service) in lower corner of front-panel) wrapper.

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