New from ASLS:
The Land of Story-Books
Scottish Children’s Literature in the Long Nineteenth Century
Edited by Sarah Dunnigan and Shu-Fang Lai
Paperback | 476 pages | £22.95 | €25.95 | $29.95 | ISBN 9781908980298
This volume of twenty essays presents a unique insight into the world of Scottish children’s literature throughout the long nineteenth century. From periodicals to poetry, chapbooks to fairy tales, short stories to plays, it reveals the richness and diversity of writing for children in this period.
As well as revisiting much-loved authors such as Stevenson, Barrie, and MacDonald, it explores the neglected role of women writers, the significant contribution of Gaelic authors, and the role of folklore and tradition. Essays also look at children as literary protagonists, and as readers themselves. In recovering these marginal voices and texts, and in showing how well-known stories explore questions of culture, identity, and language, The Land of Story-Books seeks to restore the traditions of children’s writing to the heart of Scottish literary history.
Introduction (Sarah Dunnigan)
I: Constructions of Childhood
1. Educating the Female Child: Debates from the Scottish Periodical Press in Enlightenment Scotland, 1750–1800 (Rhona Brown)
2. The Young Person’s Sir Walter: Scott and the Nineteenth-Century Child Reader (Paul Barnaby)
3. ‘Entertaining and Instructing Histories’: Children’s Chapbook Literature in the Nineteenth Century (Valentina Bold)
4. Nature versus Nurture: Robert Chambers as a Writer for Children (Shu-Fang Lai)
5. The Scottish Nursery Muse: Scottish Poetry and the Children’s Verse Tradition in the Victorian Period (Kirstie Blair)
6. Gaelic Tradition and the Celtic Revival in Children’s Literature in Scottish Gaelic and English (Sìm Innes and Kate Louise Mathis)
II: Romance, Adventure, and Imperialism
7. Historical Facts and ‘Romantic Daring’: Thomas Nelson & Sons, the Adventure Tale, and the Late-Victorian Education Market (Anne Marie Hagen)
8. Symbolism and Empire: Stevenson, Scott, and Toy Soldiers (Adam Kozaczka)
9. The Darkening Island: Stevenson, Barrie, and the Perils of Childhood (Timothy S. Hayes)
10. Colonising Neverland: British Motherhood as Imaginative Play in J. M. Barrie’s Peter and Wendy (Rodney M. D. Fierce)
11. ‘Staunch little democrat that he was’: Humanitarian Sentiment, Social Reform, and Political Idealism in Eleanor Atkinson’s Greyfriars Bobby (David Salter)
III: Child’s Play
12. Youthful Visionaries in Margaret Oliphant’s Fin-de-Siècle Fiction (Anne Stapleton)
13. A Scottish Child’s Memento Mori: Language, Folklore, and Landscape in George MacDonald’s Ranald Bannerman’s Boyhood (J. Patrick Pazdziora)
14. Betwixt-and-Between: Barrie, Shakespeare and Playing at Childhood (Caitlin R. Hansen)
IV: Moral and Spiritual Fictions
15. Two Telling Tales: Didacticism as a Means of Feminine Empowerment in Catherine Sinclair’s Holiday House and Dinah Mulock Craik’s Alice Learmont (Linda Claridge Middup)
16. Romance, Death and other Predicaments: Guidance for the Young in the Fiction of Mary Gordon (Mrs Disney Leith) (Janet Powney and Jeremy Mitchell)
V: Fairytale and Fantasy
17. Unlocking Scottish Balladry and Folklore in George MacDonald’s ‘The Golden Key’ (Linden Bicket)
18. ‘A great, unlimited world’?: Imaginative Locations in the Fairy Tales of Jessie Saxby and Violet Jacob (Sarah Dunnigan)
19. ‘To Children and Others’: Audience, Advertising, and the Reception of Andrew Lang’s Fairy Books (1889–1910) (Sara M. Hines)
VI: Children’s Books in the Archive
20. ‘It is lovely to be five’: Children’s Books In the Archives (Lyn Stevens, Danielle Howarth, Morgan Boharski, Joanna Witkowska)
Notes on Contributors


Growing Up With Books

A Little History of Children’s Literature as seen through the Collection at Edinburgh’s Museum of Childhood

 Edited by Sarah Dunnigan and Danielle Howarth

Paperback | 73 pages | £6.00 | ISBN 9781527224209

To accompany the exhibition, Growing Up With Books, at Edinburgh’s Museum of Childhood, SELCIE produced its own book, Growing Up With Books. A Little History of Children’s Literature as seen through Edinburgh’s Museum of Childhood. Written collaboratively by the SELCIE team, the book presents specially chosen highlights from the Museum’s unique archive. It was featured in the Edinburgh International Book Festival 2018.

Individual chapters offer a beautifully illustrated journey into the different worlds of early children’s literature  —  from the earliest nursery rhymes and alphabet books to religion, education, and learning; from conduct and advice literature to fairy tales and fantasy.  It shows how the archive presents a ‘living history’ of children’s literature  –  its books, once owned by children of all ages, vividly illustrate how we ‘grow with books’, and how they can hold more stories than the one printed on the page.  It also presents the first written account of the history of Edinburgh’s much loved Museum of Childhood.


The Story of the Museum of Childhood  |   Lyn Stevens

The Story of SELCIE  |   Danielle Howarth

The Collection in the World of Children’s Literature |  Sarah Dunnigan

I. Learning to Read | Morgan Boharski

II. Worlds of Knowledge |  Joanna Witkowska

III. Shaping Identities | Lois Burke

IV. Worlds of Imagination: Fairy Tale and Fantasy |  Niamh Keenan and Sarah Dunnigan

V. The Lives of Children’s Books Part One: Owners and Readers | Danielle Howarth

VI. The Lives of Children’s Books Part Two: Materiality | Danielle Howarth and Morgan Boharski


Growing Up With Books. A Little History of Children’s Literature as seen through the Collection at Edinburgh’s Museum of Childhood, edited by Sarah Dunnigan and Danielle Howarth (University of Edinburgh, 2018) can be bought at the Museum of Childhood, Royal Mile, Edinburgh, or ordered directly from Sarah Dunnigan, English Literature, Edinburgh University, 50 George Square, Edinburgh ( The cost is £6, and all proceeds will go to Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity.