Many experts recognize that juvenile literature acts as an excellent reflector of the dominant ideas of an age; the values and fantasies of adult authors are often dressed up in fictional garb for youthful consumption. This collection examines a portion of the mass-produced juvenile literature, from the mid-19th century until the 1950s, focusing on the cluster of ideas connected with Britain's role in the maintenance of order and the spread of civilization. Annotation copyrighted by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
‘Empire and the Animal Body: Violence, Identity and Ecology in Victorian Adventure Fiction’ develops recent work in animal studies, eco-criticism and postcolonial studies to reassess the significance of exotic animals in Victorian adventure literature. Depictions of violence against animals were integral to the ideology of adventure literature in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. However, the evolutionary hierarchies on which such texts relied were complicated by developing environmental sensitivities and reimaginings of human selfhood in relation to animal others. As these texts hankered after increasingly imperilled areas of wilderness, the border between human and animal appeared tense, ambivalent and problematic.