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Consumerism and American Girls' Literature, 1860-1940 by Peter (Queen's University Belfast) Stoneley


Consumerism and American Girls' Literature, 1860-1940 by Peter (Queen's University Belfast) Stoneley

Why did the figure of the girl come to dominate the American imagination from the middle of the nineteenth century into the twentieth? In Consumerism and American Girls' Literature Peter Stoneley looks at how women fictionalized for the girl reader the ways of achieving a powerful social and cultural presence. He explores why and how a scenario of 'buying into womanhood' became, between 1860 and 1940, one of the nation's central allegories, one of its favourite means of negotiating social change. From Jo March to Nancy Drew, girls' fiction operated in dynamic relation to consumerism, performing a series of otherwise awkward manoeuvres: between country and metropolis, uncouth and unspoilt, modern and anti-modern. Covering a wide range of works and authors, this book will be of interest to cultural and literary scholars alike.


'Consumerism and American Girl's Literature will be a welcome addition to undergraduate and postgraduate reading in cultural and gender historic studies.'
Literature and History

'... makes an important contribution to the broader cultural history of American literary production ... Stoneley's exploration of the fissures and cracks of these texts through a cultural analysis of the producer, the mode of production, and consumption is managed with a skill and fluency that is too often missing in academic writing.'
Modern Language Review

About the Author

Peter Stoneley is Lecturer in the School of English at Queen's University, Belfast. He is the author of Mark Twain and the Feminine Aesthetic (Cambridge, 1992).

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Book Info

Publication date

2nd April 2007


Peter (Queen's University Belfast) Stoneley

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Cambridge University Press


180 pages


Literary studies: c 1800 to c 1900
ChildrenÍs & teenage literature studies



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