You Girls Stay Here: Gender Roles in Popular British Children’s Adventure Fiction, 1930-70
This book will be of interest to students of both children’s literature and gender studies. It re-examines a period long considered to be of poor quality as regards children’s books. It explores a range of themes, such as female agency, power and courage, and additionally gives a linguistic analysis of selected texts. The book adopts a socio-cultural approach, placing the authors in their historical context. By focusing on a small number of authors in depth, it discovers subtleties perhaps ignored by a broad-brush approach. While reflecting their era in some respects, these writers also demonstrated individuality in their representation of gender, offering a wider range of models to their readers than previous critics have acknowledged.
Elizabeth Poynter is a Senior Lecturer at Leeds Beckett University, UK. Primarily a linguist, she has published papers related to English as a global language, and is currently working in the area of formulaic language. Her interest in social history is reflected in her book Bedbugs and Chamberpots: A History of Human Hygiene (2016).
"Poynter’s exciting and groundbreaking study is both ambitious and carefully constructed in examining a range of often neglected authors, in a clear and accessible style. She gives each author detailed attention, and in particular recovers and shows the significance of texts by women writers and texts with female adventurers. Through exploring adventure stories, this work makes a strong case for the value of analysing popular fiction, within its contexts, and for what it can tell us about gender today."
Dr Aneesh Barai University of Cambridge
"“You Girls Stay Here” is an account of gender roles in popular British children's adventure fiction, 1930-70. It is about those books which are sometimes forgotten in discussions of the golden ages of children’s literature but which were (and still are) read for pleasure by many children and which shaped the cultural landscapes of many adults today. It is an intriguing blend of childhood and gender studies, literary theory and linguistics, as it explains and details the context in which these books were written and read, but best of all it is underpinned by a love of the topic and an enthusiasm for these books which carries through every page."
Dr Heather Montgomery Open University
"This book is written in a clear, punchy and refreshing style which really engages the reader, even the reader who is not necessarily familiar with all the background. The relationship between authors, what they write, and the spirit of the times is colourfully portrayed. For me the book brings together a sharp eye for language with a deep knowledge of the subject manner in a very lively manner. Both the content and the approach seem to me to be very original."
Dr Ivor Timmis Leeds Beckett University
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