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1 - Commercialisation and the Innocent Child

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 June 2022

Jose Bellido
Affiliation:
University of Kent, Canterbury
Kathy Bowrey
Affiliation:
University of New South Wales, Sydney
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Summary

Chapter 1 explores one of the most enduring popular works for children, Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865). Charles Dodgson wrote it at a time when the very conception of childhood as a distinctive and cherished stage of human development was being explored and, through the popularity of Dodgson’s penmanship, being promulgated. Dodgson’s interest in children is also apparent from his (now controversial) photographs of children and from his obsessively detailed exchanges with his publisher, Frederick Macmillan, over the presentation of Alice and other works for children. Dodgson sought to curate the way young readers entered into and experienced the fantasy realm. He appeared to draw the line at ventures he judged could dilute the fantasy, such as mass-manufactured goods produced outside of Victorian artistic creative industries. Dodgson wrote at a time when authors could and did control the terms of engagement with their fantasy through the exercise of copyright. Management, agency and legal relations would supersede this authorial power and authority in the following century.

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Chapter
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Adventures in Childhood
Intellectual Property, Imagination and the Business of Play
, pp. 11 - 37
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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