100 ways to make a Japanese house

Field, Hannah (2012) 100 ways to make a Japanese house. Children's Literature Association Quarterly, 37 (2). pp. 153-63. ISSN 1553-1201

Full content URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/chq.2012.0026

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In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Scenes of children making dollhouses are something of a leitmotif in Rumer Godden’s celebrated doll stories. Her first children’s novel, The Dolls’ House (1947), has sisters Charlotte and Emily Dane refurbishing a Victorian dollhouse, while in 1956’s The Fairy Doll, the young protagonist Elizabeth fashions a more unassuming home for her doll. Of course, Charlotte, Emily, and Elizabeth are not alone in these pursuits, and Godden is not the only mid-twentieth-century children’s writer to detail them. One of Elinor Brent-Dyer’s Chalet School heroines, Tom Gay, creates many dollhouses in her time at the school, selling these at the end-of-school sales; the first appears in Tom Tackles the Chalet School (serialized in 1947 and 1948 before being released as a single volume in 1955). The Five Dolls series by Helen Clare is likewise full of improvised dollhouse objects and craft activities; in Five Dolls in a House (1953), for example, heroine Elizabeth converts her child-sized blue velvet ribbon into a dolls’ staircase carpet, blithely saying, “we’ll pin it on with drawing-pins as I haven’t any stair rods” (58). However, what is an ancillary, if significant, motif in Brent-Dyer, Clare, and even The Dolls’ House or The Fairy Doll becomes the defining narrative preoccupation in two of Godden’s lesser-known works, her 1961 children’s novel Miss Happiness and Miss Flower and its sequel Little Plum (1963).

Keywords:children's literature, Rumer Godden, Toys, Handicrafts Arts and crafts
Subjects:Q Linguistics, Classics and related subjects > Q320 English Literature
Divisions:College of Arts > School of English & Journalism > School of English & Journalism (English)
ID Code:11775
Deposited On:04 Sep 2013 07:53

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