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Stories For Children, Histories of Childhood / Histoires d'enfant, histoires d'enfance. Tome II

 | 
Rosie Findlay
, 
Sébastien Salbayre

“Helpless and a cripple”: the disabled child in children’s literature and child rescue discourses

Margot Hillel

Résumé

“Helpless and a cripple”: the disabled child in children’s literature and child rescue discourses.
This article will explore some of the ways disabled children were represented in children’s literature and child rescue literature in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The disabled character was often used quite didactically, teaching lessons about patience and being used to foster compassion and charity. Intersecting with these constructions were views about an ideal childhood, and frequently, strongly Evangelical ideas of children as redeemers.

Texte intégral

1Children often described as ‘cripples’ have been a part of children’s literature for well over a century. Such children were often constructed as objects of pity and the child reader (and usually other child characters within the books) was expected to sympathise with them. A ‘correct’ or ideal notion of childhood is implicit in this as the life of the disabled child is measured against this constructed ideal and found wanting. The child character in the literature and the child reader of that literature are often therefore highly politicised, being constructed as emblems of the future: their role is to act as both inheritors and saviours of the world.

2As Mitzi Myers has argued ‘investigating historical literary structures and cultural assumptions illuminates the present, even as it contextualises and thus recovers the past’ (Myers 1992 132). This paper will explore intersections between the construction of the disabled child – a particular kind of childhood – in selected British and Australian children’s literature and child-rescue material written for children and adults.

  • 1 Susan Coolidge ‘What Katy Did’ in All That Katy Did: An Omnibus of ‘Katy’ Stories London, Blackie, (...)

3The title of this article comes from that classic of American children’s literature What Katy Did. It describes Katy’s Cousin Helen and the phrase is used by Katy’s father, Dr Carr when he describes to Katy Helen’s early life. After the ‘dreadful accident’ she had, she was told ‘that she would have to lie on her sofa always, and be helpless and a cripple.’1 Helen was actually an adult when she had her accident but this description is indicative of one construction of the disabled child. The article could equally have been called pity and punishment as these are two of the most prominent ways disabled children are constructed in nineteenth-century books. Many of these were heavy-handedly didactic asking their child readers to pity the disabled child. On the other hand, they could be asked to see the temporary disability as a just punishment and lesson whereby the sufferer would be made a better person; the lessons that the sufferer learnt the readers were also expected to take to themselves. Patience, the necessity of curbing one’s temper, self-sacrifice and goodness were all part of these constructions. For some fictional characters, their condition was a necessary part of the construction of their role as redeemer.

  • 2 Pat Pinsent, Children’s Literature and the Politics of Equality London, David Fulton Publishers, 1 (...)

4There has been quite a deal of work done by scholars of children’s literature on the way the disabled have been portrayed in some of the classic texts for children – Lois Keith, for example, has written about 8 pieces of ‘classic fiction’ for girls in her Take Up Thy Bed and Walk. Pat Pinsent discusses the way that disabled characters – often the adult disabled character – is portrayed as either saint-like in patience - think of Tiny Tim in Dickens’s A Christmas Carol or evil and sinister; Blind Pew in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island being a case in point.2 In this article, I want to consider lesserknown works and my emphasis is on the child character. ‘Crippled’ children appeared fairly frequently in religious tracts produced by publishers such as the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge and the Religious Tract Society. This article will explore these constructions, with particular emphasis on the child as object of pity, in selected nineteenth and early twentieth-century texts for children. These will include both books and some of the many periodicals which were published for children at this time.

  • 3 The kinds of calculations which Hugh Cunningham discusses suggest a physical norm, an idealised bo (...)

5Children with intellectual or physical differences were, until very recently, defined as ‘other’. (Indeed some writers claim they are continuing to be so). The able-bodied reader and the able-bodied child characters within the book, were all positioned as, in many ways, superior to the disabled child. This implies, of course, a physical norm against which children can be measured.3 Society’s idealised view of childhood is frequently reflected in the literature it produces for and about its children and, where the ideal is in some way violated, it is seen as a threat to the structure of society itself. This can true of the disabled in much the same way as the vulnerable street child is seen in much of the child-rescue literature.

  • 4 M.V. Maitland Lawlor ‘Daisie’s Pocket-Money’ The Children’s Friend May 5, 1902, p. 147-8. This jou (...)

6One of the enduring constructions of childhood is that of the Romantic Child who is innocent, unspoiled and ‘childlike.’ Such a child is often physically attractive, quite the opposite from the ‘knowing’, unattractive child whom neglect has warped, or the disabled child whose disability is often described at length. The attractive innocent was often used in Evangelical writing as a role model for the reader. In ‘Daisie’s Pocket Money’ published in The Children’s Friend in 1902, Daisie is described as’a dear little creature, with flaxen hair and blue eyes’4 – wouldn’t all readers want to be like her - and, if they couldn’t be like her physically, they could emulate her goodness. She saves her pocket money in order to pay for an operation for her friend Edith, who ‘fell and hurt her spine’ and cannot sit up. Her money, of course, is not enough but the ‘great doctor’ is touched by Daisie’s innocent appeal and visits (and cures) Edith anyway.

  • 5 Perry Nodelman, ‘The Other: Orientalism, Colonialism and Children’s Literature.’ Children’s Litera (...)
  • 6 Unfortunately, from the point of view of those interested in the history of children’s literature, (...)

7Perry Nodelman argues that children’s literature represents a massive effort by adults to colonise children: to make them believe that they ought to be the way adults would like them to be.5 There is a very real sense in which the literature about the disabled or otherwise vulnerable child is designed to mould the nation. One of the most famous stories of ‘street arabs’, Brenda’s Froggy’s Little Brother’,(which, incidentally, also contains one of the most famous nineteenth-century death-bed scenes), was enormously popular and influential in the nineteenth century and included a call to readers to send money and relief to the ragged schools and children’s homes of the East End of London.6

8These young readers were not being asked simply to develop compassion for those who were not as fortunate as themselves, they were being urged to become active crusaders in the fight to rescue street arabs, many of whom were disabled through circumstance. The hymn sung at meetings of the Young Helpers’ League is equally explicit:

  • 7 Charlotte Murray, ‘The League Hymn-We’ll all Help’, Young Helpers League I (1892).

The crippled, blind, the deaf and lame,
The dumb, the sick, the sad,
Are needing aid from loving hearts
To cheer and make them glad.7

  • 8 Cunningham, p. 136.
  • 9 V.J.F. ‘Homeless’ in The Children’s Friend February 2, 1903, p. 36-37.

9As Hugh Cunningham points out, it ‘was relatively easy to tap into the pockets of the public by a sentimental appeals on behalf’ of children.8 Adult and children’s literature did this equally, and the appeal was the more poignant if it was on behalf of the homeless or disabled. In a story by V.J.F in The Children’s Friend, children are exhorted to count their blessings in having a stable, happy home with good food clothing and education and to remember the homeless and helpless child by giving generously – both by asking god to help and more directly: ‘you may be able to do something to help some one who is not as well of as yourself.’9

10A similar story appears in Night and Day in 1887, entitled ‘Little Cripple Waifs’. Night and Day was published by Barnardo’s for supporters and potential supporters and the appeal for additional money was behind their explanation for placing such children amongst ‘healthy children’ rather than in a special Home:

  • 10 “Little Cripple Waifs” in Night and Day November 1887, p. l 19.

11By placing one such child in a cottage here and there, we supplied a constant training for all the kindly forbearance and sweet self-denials and sympathies which find such pathetic outflow in every family where a little cripple is one of the members. The afflicted girl meets with loving hands and warm hearts on every side, while “in seeking other’s good” her little companions “find their own”, and the fruits of gentleness, long-suffering and unselfishness grow in the kindly atmosphere of tenderness and pity which encircles the suffering.”10

  • 11 Robert Pattison, The Child Figure in English Literature. Athens, Georgia University of Georgia Pre (...)
  • 12 Peter Hollindale, Signs of Childness in Children’s Books, Stroud, Gloucestershire, Thimble Press, (...)

12Such books are thus highly political too, using the child character and again the child reader, ‘to expose the imperfections of the world around him’ as Robert Pattison expresses it and to espouse and foster the ideologies held to be important by the author.11 Many of these writers for children were thus doing as Peter Hollindale points out Charles Dickens did for adults, in using the child as ‘a lens or measure by which adult practices can be socially and morally exposed.’12 Authors wanted to develop compassionate (and generous) children, but they wanted this to continue into adulthood; the compassionate children of today were to become the child rescuers of tomorrow.

  • 13 Lois Keith, Take Up Thy Bed and Walk: Death, Disability and Cure in Classic Fiction for Girls, Lon (...)

13The notion that stoicism is reinforced by belief in God is another recurring theme, which reinforces the view of the deserving and undeserving poor too. Those who embraced Christianity were those for whom pity was most appropriate. Those who were had the potential to be saved and were grateful for the tracts given to them, were also seen as worthy of notice. Embracing one’s lot in life, cheerfully and thankfully, recognising it as part of God’s total plan was much praised. The ‘sweet, passive and forgiving invalid’ as Lois Keith puts it, was a common character.13 It was far better for the disabled character to learn to accept her lot in life (and incidentally act as a model for others) than rail against it. The religious lesson was quite often reinforced in the descriptions of the disabled:

  • 14 Anonymous. The Children’s Friend October 14, 1901, p. 124.

The Blind Weaver
A Blind Boy stood beside the loom
And wove a fabric. To and fro,
Beneath his firm and steady touch,
He made the busy shuttle go.
And oft the teacher passed that way
And gave the colours, thread by thread,
But to the boy the pattern fair
Was all unseen. Its hues were dead.
“How can you weave?” we, pitying, cried,
The blind boy smiled. “I do my best;
I make the fabric firm and strong,
And One who sees does all the rest.”
Oh, happy thought! Beside life’s loom
We blindly strive our best to do,
And He, who marked the pattern out
And holds the threads, will make it true.14

14This is a strongly didactic poem, with an underlying message of accepting one’s lot in life and making the best of it. The notion of God’s master plan – God as the supreme weaver – is a somewhat heavy-handed metaphor designed to make the child reader draw the obvious conclusion and ‘do their best’ no matter what obstacles should arise. It also clearly constructs the’deserving disabled’as those who accept their disability cheerfully-there is a kind of evangelical missionising here, spreading the gospel wherever they can and even through ‘the least of the brethren.’

  • 15 Humphrey Carpenter and Mari Prichard The Oxford Companion to Children’s Literature Oxford, O.U.P., (...)
  • 16 A.L.O.E, The Hymn My Mother Taught Me and Other Stories. London, Nelson, 1877 pp. 52-3.
  • 17 ‘Isaac Watts ‘Against Idleness and Mischief’ in Divine Songs for Children published 1715.

15A.L.O.E (the pen name of Charlotte Maria Tucker) was an Evangelical writer of the middle to late 1800s who wrote as Humphrey Carpenter and Mari Prichard put it, books ‘which were notably strict and didactic even by the standards of the time.’15 Her story ‘Burning Bank Notes’ makes the point even more strongly than ‘The Blind Weaver’. This story, in a collection called The Hymn My Mother Taught Me and Other Stories, is very much an improving story, telling its child readers how they can improve their lot in life, with the help of God-it relies heavily too, on the Protestant work ethic to make its point. One of the characters is ‘a clean, cheerful youth’ who can support his blind mother’ because he makes good use of time. Even, we are told, the ‘penniless child has this, is he has nothing else’, a treasure A.L.O.E calls The Bank Notes of Time. One part of the story is even more significant for the purposes of this paper: ‘See that blind girl’ [young readers are told] so cheerful under affliction, so full of hope and peace! How comes it that she is so happy, when many would be fretting and repining? While she had yet eyesight, she read her Bible with prayer, and stored her memory with many precious verses, which are now to her like light in darkness. She changed time’s banknotes for gold!’16 This story indicates the way lessons for children, certain tropes and constructions, persevere for generations in children’s literature. Think how like Isaac Watts’s poem this story is: ‘How doth the little busy bee/ Improve each shining hour’, And gathers honey all the day/From every opening flower!’17

16Discussions of the disabled child also indicate the way certain constructions are almost inextricably entwined in children’s literature. Many of these children are made vulnerable through inadequate mothering; constructions of motherhood occur frequently in such books. Again, the child readers are being asked to respond in two ways – by appreciating their own mothers, and therefore being cheerfully obedient and helpful and by pitying those children whose mothers are either dead or neglectful. As in this poem:

No Mother
It was down at the orphan asylum, one day,
That three little maids sat round the fire,
Each telling the thing she wished for most
If only she could have her heart’s desire.

17The girls then describe what they want: Maud wants a horse, so that people will look at her and comment on the ‘snow-white horse as she rides by; Alice wants to own a ship. She says she will bring back a present for all the girls, including ‘a beautiful crutch for dear little Bess.’ Bess speaks last:

  • 18 Anonymous. The Children’s Friend November 24, 1903, p. 380. Kerry Kidd discusses notions of mother (...)

Then little lame Bess, with her gentle voice,
Said, looking round from one to the other,
‘I’ll wish for the loveliest thing in the world,
That everyone of us might have a mother.18

18Perhaps, as the disabled child, she is the one most in need of her mother.

  • 19 E.H. Stooke, Little Maid Marigold, London, Religious Tract Society, n.d., p. 63.

19Furthermore, the good mother will, of course, be moulding her child’s charitable instincts. Sometimes, this inculcation is done by a ‘mother substitute’ as in the book Little Maid Marigold in which the child is sent to live with her great-aunts because her own mother cannot afford to give her an adequate education. The maternal sacrifice here is seen as valuable and worthy – this is not abandonment. The child is taken by an aunt to see Molly Jenkins, ‘a poor lame girl who makes Honiton lace for a livelihood. She cannot move without crutches and rarely goes out except to take her work to the shop where she sells it, and yet [said Aunt Pamela] she is one of the brightest souls I know!’19 Facing the title page is an illustration which reinforces the idea of the child as Lady Bountiful. In it, she is being taken to visit the elderly widow, Mrs Barker, who is stooped and frai land whose sight is going. Marigold, in bright pink hat and coat, is very much the focal point of the picture and the class differences reinforced in the clothing.

  • 20 Stooke, p. 173.

20Throughout the book, as in others of the time, Molly the lace-maker is defined throughout by her disability, usually being labelled ‘the lame girl’ or ‘the cripple girl’ as in ‘The lame girl smiled as she looked from one face to another’.20 This is part of the ‘othering’ which I have already mentioned and serves to objectify the girl, reinforcing her difference from the able-bodied characters in the book and reading it. It further helps to construct the girl as the object of pity.

  • 21 Dr Gregory ‘The Children of Sorrow’ in Highways and Hedges. This was an adult publication, produce (...)

21This book also uses a device which is not uncommon in Evangelical works of the time – Alice Lee’s Mission being a classic of the genre - having the child ‘crippled’ by a drunken father. These constructions fictionalize ones used in the child-rescue literature as an incentive for people to donate. Highways and Hedges in 1908, for example, in an article entitled ‘The Children of Sorrow’ by Dr Gregory, lists the kinds of children who have been taken in by The Children’s Home and Orphanage: ‘During the last few years we have added greatly to the cost and extent of our work by receiving crippled and afflicted sufferers from diseased hips, curved spines, and distorted limbs, in many cases victims of accidents in babyhood caused by the drunkenness of father or mother.’21 There are clear demarcations of class in all this; it is the working class who are drunken and harm their children and the middle-class who must be charitable and compassionate. When middle-class girls such as Katy Carr are crippled, they are ‘invalids’, cared-for and ultimately recovering.

  • 22 Balfour p. 25

22The disabled child can also function as a redeemer for the drunken father and sometimes others around them. They show extraordinary forbearance and forgiveness, too. Patty, in Toil and Trust, permanently damaged by neglect and brutality, nevertheless nurses her step-father and step-grandmother when they succumb to cholera. She is eventually taken on as a domestic servant – she had been rejected for this many times because of her deformity – and acts as a redeemer for the mother and children of the house, bringing them all to God. Her patience (the naming of the girls in this book is rather heavy-handed, not only is the good girl patience, the bad one is Jane Flight) is praised by an old woman in the workhouse where Patty spends some time: ‘”Never mind what they call you, Patty; better a crippled shoulder than a crippled temper.”’22

23The naughty, willful and selfish child may well be transformed by the devout Evangelical disabled child such as the ‘lame girl’, Molly, in Little Maid Marigold. Many pages are devoted to the conversion of badly-behaved Muriel who asks: ‘”Do you think it makes one happy to be religious?”’ She is also forced to confess that she does not read the Bible and is exhorted by Molly – her voice tremulous with emotion – not to put it off any longer. ‘”Do try to love God and walk in His ways.”’ Finally, after warning Muriel that she might at any time meet her Maker, Molly hears the words she wants to hear:

  • 23 Stooke, p. 178-179.

“‘ Would it make you any happier, really, if I tried to be a Christian?’”23

  • 24 Lillian C. Hume “Hunchie” in Our Waifs and Strays 1896, p. 377.

24Disabled children are thus sometimes used as a signifier for Godliness and are also sometimes to demonstrate the importance of ‘dying in Christ’. Hunchie, another child crippled by his drunken father, is run over and is dying. The author and her brother visit him and learn from the doctor that Hunchie is dying. ‘”Please [he says to them] “I wants to hear more about the Man what comforts.” After Hunchie is baptized he says, in almost perfect Victorian death-bed last words; “‘Oh! Look, look! I see Him; I see Him! The Man what comforts.’”24 Who could resist the appeal for donations to save such children?

  • 25 Carpenter and Prichard discuss the way in which Strewelpeter has been viewed as horrifying caution (...)
  • 26 Diana Gittins, The Child in Question, New York: St Martins Press, 1998, p. 189.

25One area where the children’s literature differs from the child rescue literature and is the antithesis of the child as redeemer is in the area of disability as punishment. I want just briefly to discuss this construction. The child who is disabled as a result of disobedience is not regarded as an object of pity and is therefore not suitable for the kind of literature which is asking for donations to save him (or her). Sometimes the disability is temporary, designed, as in the case of What Katy Did, to make the girl more womanly and tractable. Sometimes, however, it is permanent and often seems a terrible punishment for a childish lapse. The didactic message is always clear though – obey your elders and betters or this might happen to you. Almost always in children’s literature there remains an element of Puritanism, sometimes even running parallel with Romanticism. Extreme, although not altogether unusual examples, are two included in Andrew Tuer’s Stories from Old-Fashioned Children’s Books entitled ‘Tales Uniting Instruction with Amusement: Consisting of the Dangers of the Streets and Throwing Squibs. In the first, George becomes a ‘cripple’ when he loses his leg after being run over by a wagon. Unlike his brother he wasn’t careful and prudent; he was careless when crossing the road. In the second Tom refuses to stop playing with fireworks, blinds first his father and then himself. His father dies of grief; Tom becomes destitute and is forced to become a sweep’s boy. All these misfortunes, we are told, were brought on by his own folly and the story finishes ‘Let his punishment serve as a lesson to other boys.’ Although this was probably first published rather earlier than the time I am mostly discussing, its reprint in an 1899 collection is of interest, as is the rather blurred audience at which it is aimed. Further, the sentiments are echoed in books such as Strewelpeter published in an English edition in 1848 and which warned of the ‘scissorman’ who would come and cut off the fingers of the child who sucked his thumb.25 Such notions reflect a continuation of Puritan attitudes to childhood, which, as Diana Gittins argues, saw the child’s body as ‘the battleground between innocence and sin.’26

26The ‘childhood stories’ discussed in this paper, demonstrate the way the disabled child was constructed to elicit particular responses from the reader. Stories of disabled childhoods were contrasted with those of the happy, healthy childhoods of the middleclass readers of these tales, whether they were children themselves or merely remembering the ghost of childhood past.

Bibliographie

BIBLIOGRAPHY

A.L.O.E., The Hymn My Mother Taught Me and Other Stories, London, Thomas Nelson, 1877.

BALFOUR Mrs. C.L., Toil and Trust or the Life Story of Patty, The Workhouse Girl, London, S.W. Partridge, n.d.

‘Brenda’, Froggy’s Little Brother, London, Gollancz, 1968.

CARPENTER Humphrey and PRICHARD Mari, The Oxford Companion to Children’s Literature, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1984.

CUNNINGHAM Hugh, Children and Childhood in Western Society Since 1500, London, Longman, 1995.

GITTINS Diana, The Child in Question, New York, St Martins Press, 1998.

GREGORY Dr., ‘The Children of Sorrow’ in Highways and Hedges, 1908 pp. 177-8.

KEITH Lois, Take Up Thy Bed and Walk: Death, Disability and Cure in Classic Fiction for Girls, London, The Women’s Press, 2001.

KEITH Lois, ‘What Writers Did Next: Disability, Illness and Cure in Books in the Second Half of the 20th Century’, in Disability Studies Quarterly, 24: 1, 2004. Available at http://www.dsq-sds.org/children’s lit.html

KIDD Kerry, ‘The Mother and the Angel: Disability Studies, Mothering and the’Unreal’in Children’s Fiction’in Disability Studies Quarterly, 24:1, 2004. available at http://www. dsq-sds. org/children’s _ lit. html

‘Little Cripple Waifs’ in Night and Day, 1887 p. 119-20.

National Waif’s Magazine, No. 225, 1903, p. 50-52

PINSENT Pat, Children’s Literature and the Politics of Equality, London, David Fulton Publishers, 1997

QUICKE John, Disability in Modern Children’s Fiction, London, Croom Helm, 1985.

SAUNDERS Kathy, Happy Ever Afters: A Story Book Code to Teaching Children About Disability, Oakhill, Stoke-on-Trent: Trentham Books, 2000.

‘The Blind Weaver’ in The Children’s Friend, 1, No. 16, October 1901, p. 124.

TUER Andrew W, Stories from Old-Fashioned Children’s Books, London, Leadenhall Press, 1899.

Notes

1 Susan Coolidge ‘What Katy Did’ in All That Katy Did: An Omnibus of ‘Katy’ Stories London, Blackie, n.d, p. 99.

2 Pat Pinsent, Children’s Literature and the Politics of Equality London, David Fulton Publishers, 1997 p. 52-3.

3 The kinds of calculations which Hugh Cunningham discusses suggest a physical norm, an idealised body against which other children can be measured. This was important in measuring the physical well-being of slum children. Hugh Cunningham, Children and Childhood in Western Society since 1500. London, Longman, 1995 p. 168.

4 M.V. Maitland Lawlor ‘Daisie’s Pocket-Money’ The Children’s Friend May 5, 1902, p. 147-8. This journal was published for children.

5 Perry Nodelman, ‘The Other: Orientalism, Colonialism and Children’s Literature.’ Children’s Literature Association Quarterly 17.1 (1992), p. 29-35.

6 Unfortunately, from the point of view of those interested in the history of children’s literature, this section was removed from the 1968 version. In her introduction, Gillian Avery described such passages as seeming ‘so out-of-date as to be irrelevant. Gillian Avery, Introduction to Froggy’s Little Brother, London, Gollancz, 1968, p. 12.

7 Charlotte Murray, ‘The League Hymn-We’ll all Help’, Young Helpers League I (1892).

8 Cunningham, p. 136.

9 V.J.F. ‘Homeless’ in The Children’s Friend February 2, 1903, p. 36-37.

10 “Little Cripple Waifs” in Night and Day November 1887, p. l 19.

11 Robert Pattison, The Child Figure in English Literature. Athens, Georgia University of Georgia Press, 1978, p. 110

12 Peter Hollindale, Signs of Childness in Children’s Books, Stroud, Gloucestershire, Thimble Press, 1997, p. 100.

13 Lois Keith, Take Up Thy Bed and Walk: Death, Disability and Cure in Classic Fiction for Girls, London, The Women’s Press, 2001, p. 34.

14 Anonymous. The Children’s Friend October 14, 1901, p. 124.

15 Humphrey Carpenter and Mari Prichard The Oxford Companion to Children’s Literature Oxford, O.U.P., 1984, p. 19.

16 A.L.O.E, The Hymn My Mother Taught Me and Other Stories. London, Nelson, 1877 pp. 52-3.

17 ‘Isaac Watts ‘Against Idleness and Mischief’ in Divine Songs for Children published 1715.

18 Anonymous. The Children’s Friend November 24, 1903, p. 380. Kerry Kidd discusses notions of mothering and disability in “The Mother and the Angel: Disability Studies, Mothering and the ‘Unreal’ in Children’s Fiction” Disability Studies Quarterly 24:1, 2004.

19 E.H. Stooke, Little Maid Marigold, London, Religious Tract Society, n.d., p. 63.

20 Stooke, p. 173.

21 Dr Gregory ‘The Children of Sorrow’ in Highways and Hedges. This was an adult publication, produced by the National Children’s Homes.

22 Balfour p. 25

23 Stooke, p. 178-179.

24 Lillian C. Hume “Hunchie” in Our Waifs and Strays 1896, p. 377.

25 Carpenter and Prichard discuss the way in which Strewelpeter has been viewed as horrifying cautionary tale by some and’harmless hilarity’by others.

26 Diana Gittins, The Child in Question, New York: St Martins Press, 1998, p. 189.

Auteur

Associate Professor OAM is Head of the School of Arts and Sciences (Victoria) at Australian Catholic University, in Melbourne, Australia. She has had a wide and varied involvement in the field of children's literature over many years. She has been National President of the Children's Book Council of Australia and is currently President of the Australasian Children's Literature Association for Research (ACLAR). She has judged many literary awards including the Victorian Premier's Literary Awards. She is the joint editor of three collections of short stories, joint compiler of a retrospective anthology published to celebrate 50 years of the Children’s Book Council of Australia Children's Book of the Year Awards, has cowritten several books on using literature with children and is the author of a number of published conference papers. She reviews regularly in a number of children's literature journals and on the radio. She was awarded an Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2001 for services to children’s literature.

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