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Mentors and Muses

Mentors and Muses

Why the Collaborative Child Matters

Chapter:
(p.239) Conclusion Mentors and Muses
Source:
Between Generations
Author(s):
Victoria Ford Smith
Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781496813374.003.0006

Between Generations argues that the Golden Age of children’s literature was marked by critical interest in child agency, creating ideal cultural conditions for the emergence of intergenerational collaboration. However, an investment in children as creative actors persists long past the nineteenth century. This conclusion details two twentieth-century collaborations: the professional partnership among Arthur Ransome, Katharine Hull, and Pamela Whitlock and the photography collaboration between photojournalist Timothy Archibald and his son. These examples underscore the utility of collaboration as a critical lens for present-day scholars of the Victorian period and of childhood more generally. Collaboration is a valuable analytic that suspends in productive dialogue the tension between real children and figurations of childhood. It not only reframes the Golden Age—redefining the roles adults and children fulfill in the creation of children’s literature and in the construction of childhood—but also expands how scholars might think about adult-child relationships writ large.

Keywords:   children’s literature, child agency, collaboration, Arthur Ransome, photography

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