"The Making of Rebecca" and the Education of the Ideal Adult

Naomi Lesley


In “‘The Making of Rebecca’: and the Education of the Ideal Adult,” Naomi Lesley undertakes a pedagogical and ideological exploration of the tensions inherent in Kate Douglas Wiggin’s consummately Romantic depiction of childhood, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm.   Lesley focuses on the relationship between Wiggin as nostalgic author and Wiggin as educational reformer, and in the problematic constructions of both children and adults by those tensions inherent in American culture at the turn of the twentieth-century.  The subtle subversions of Romantic childhood by Progressive pedagogy—and vice versa—provide provocative areas for further discussion and scholarship. 

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The Looking Glass: new perspectives on children's literature

ISBN 1551-5680