In this study, Charles Ferrall and Anna Jackson argue that the Victorians created a concept of adolescence that lasted into the twentieth century and yet is strikingly at odds with post-Second World War notions of adolescence as a period of "storm and stress." In the enormously popular "juvenile" literature of the period, primarily boys' and girls' own adventure and school stories, adolescence is acknowledged as a time of sexual awareness and yet also of a romantic idealism that is lost with marriage, a time when boys and girls acquire adult duties and responsibilities and yet have not had to assume the roles of breadwinner or household manager. The book reveals a concept of adolescence as significant as the Romantic cult of childhood that preceded it, which will be of interest to scholars of both children's literature and Victorian culture.
Juvenile Literature and British Society, 1850-1950
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