By Elizabeth Thiel
The parable of the Victorian relations is still a pervasive effect inside a modern Britain that perceives itself to be in social drawback. Nostalgic for a golden age of "Victorian values" within which visions of supportive, united households predominate, the typical realization, exhorted through social and political discourse, maintains to vaunt the "traditional, ordinary" kinfolk because the template through which all different family members kinds are gauged. but this myth of family members, nurtured and augmented during the Victorian period, was once basically a build that belied the realities of a nineteenth-century global during which orphanhood, fostering, and stepfamilies have been endemic. Focusing totally on British kid's texts written by way of girls and drawing commonly on socio-historic fabric, The myth of family members considers the paradoxes implicit to the perpetuation of the household excellent in the Victorian period and provides new views on either nineteenth-century and modern society.
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Additional info for The Fantasy of Family: Nineteenth-Century Children's Literature and the Myth of the Domestic Ideal (Children's Literature and Culture)
Yet neither Thorn nor Molesworth shy away from the problems inherent to such experiences; the Harrington children are initially unwelcome at their elderly relatives’ home and in Rosy, Empire child Beata is subjected to the jealousies of her foster parents’ daughter. Whether real or ﬁctional, Empire children’s experiences of transnormative family life were varied, as indeed they were for the many other children who found themselves within a transnormative family environment. A Variety of Arrangements There were many reasons why a nineteenth-century child might have been located within a transnormative family.
Anna Davin’s study of daily life among the labouring poor of London asserts that within working-class communities, it was not at all unusual for children to join other households. It was, she says, sometimes as an arrangement of mutual convenience, often as a result of crisis or bereavement. Applications for the remission of school fees in 1870 reveal cases of orphaned children adopted by cousins, by older sisters and by grandmothers, themselves not in easy circumstances. Babies whose fathers did not acknowledge or support them were often taken in by the maternal grandparents or other relatives so that the mother could ﬁnd work, especially if she was a servant.
711 at 50. 10 Furthermore, there is often active encouragement for ﬁctional widowers to remarry, sometimes even from their offspring, or at least from those who are considered mature. Fourteen-year-old Blanche, daughter of the widowed Mr Haviland in Harriet Childe-Pemberton’s Birdie: A Tale of Child Life (1888), is described as possessing a “mind more awake to the real state of things than the minds of the younger children” (p. 66) and clearly welcomes her father’s remarriage: She had watched and listened to some purpose.
The Fantasy of Family: Nineteenth-Century Children's Literature and the Myth of the Domestic Ideal (Children's Literature and Culture) by Elizabeth Thiel