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European History Commons

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English Language and Literature

The College of Wooster

Adult authority

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Full-Text Articles in European History

"Don't Read This!": Lemony Snicket And The Control Of Youth Reading Autonomy In Late-Nineteenth-Century Britain, Brittany A. Previte Jan 2016

"Don't Read This!": Lemony Snicket And The Control Of Youth Reading Autonomy In Late-Nineteenth-Century Britain, Brittany A. Previte

Senior Independent Study Theses

This independent study investigates adult authority in youth literature in late-nineteenth-century Britain. Examining both sensational literature known as “penny dreadfuls” and the didactic magazines The Boy’s Own Paper and The Girl’s Own Paper, this project analyzes how rhetoric enforced middle class ideology outside of the classroom and shaped the youth reading experience. In an urbanizing, industrializing Britain, anxiety about social mobility ran high, and youth consumption of penny dreadfuls received suspicion due to their supposedly subversive content. This study argues that penny dreadfuls actually reinforced the social order, mirroring didactic literature in their construction of conservative adult authority ...