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ERIC Number: EJ1036178
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Mar
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 77
ISSN: ISSN-0045-6713
Dragons in English: The Great Change of the Late Nineteenth Century
Cheetham, Dominic
Children's Literature in Education, v45 n1 p17-32 Mar 2014
The impetus for the incredible variety found in the modern literary dragon is commonly seen to stem from the creative genius of either E. Nesbit or Kenneth Grahame. However, examination of dragon stories in the late nineteenth century shows that several different authors, on both sides of the Atlantic, were producing similar stories at about the same time, suggesting that the change was part of a general literary and cultural development rather than simply inspired storytelling. This study examines dragon stories of the late nineteenth century and argues that the rediscovery of the Scandinavian dragon, the discovery of the Chinese and Japanese dragons, and possibly the nineteenth-century publication of folktales parodying traditional dragon stories, gave authors new ways of looking at dragons. Traditional St George type dragon stories had already shifted into children's literature, making books for children the natural environment for the development of the dragon, and it is argued that the combined pressures of the new ideas about dragons, the parody, and the enormous cultural changes of the late Victorian period, were sufficient to stimulate the great change in the literary dragon, which has continued and diversified ever since.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A