Shail, Robert: "Anarchy in the UK. Reading Beryl the Peril via historic conceptions of childhood." In: Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics 5.3 (2014), S. 257–265.
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|Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Shail2014
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Keywords: "Beryl the Peril", Children’s and young adults’ comics, United Kingdom
Collection: Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics
Much work within the field of childhood studies has focused on the social discourses through which childhood is understood. This article draws on this work in developing a critical framework for considering the appeal of Beryl the Peril. The article examines the influence of conceptualisations of childhood prevalent in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These theorised children as disruptive and requiring restraint. Approved literature for children sought to socialise them into the adult order. However, a more subversive strain, identifiable in Lewis Carroll’s Alice novels, celebrated an anarchic vision of childhood. This article examines how Beryl the Peril negotiated these conflicting conceptions of childhood. Beryl is an unruly force; her opponent, and representative of social authority, is Dad. Their clashes play out the tensions in these articulations of childhood. The development of Beryl over nearly 60 years provides an opportunity to examine how her subversive spirit has remained appealing.
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