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In market, mansion or mountain: Representations of disability in reading for the young in rural and urban contexts, 1850-1950

In market, mansion or mountain: Representations of disability in reading for the young in rural and urban contexts, 1850-1950

Martin, Mary Clare (2014) In market, mansion or mountain: Representations of disability in reading for the young in rural and urban contexts, 1850-1950. Childhood in the Past: An International Journal, 7 (1). pp. 38-45. ISSN 1758-5716 (Print), 2040-8528 (Online) (doi:10.1179/1758571614Z.00000000016)

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Abstract

The Rousseauvian view of the countryside as a place of healing, both physical and psychological, has remained extraordinarily pervasive until the present day. This essay explores the changing representation of disability in rural and urban contexts in selected popular texts for the young in Europe, the USA and Australia, between 1850 and 1950, the ‘age of great cities’. Whilst also examining small towns, most earlier texts reiterate the concept of the city as physically damaging and the countryside as a place where miraculous cures might occur. This essay maps a shift from a representation of the countryside as a place for cure, to acknowledgement of the health benefits of cities, in terms of technical expertise and other facilities. From the late nineteenth century, these texts acknowledge the potential dangers of rural environments, but continue to reflect belief in the psychological benefits of the countryside into the 1950s.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The paper was presented at the European Association of Urban Historians conference in Lyon in 2008, as well as to staff and students at Greenwich, in the former Schools of Humanities and Schools of Education, where it has informed teaching.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Children; City; Country; Disability; Illness; Literature; Town
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Education & Health
Faculty of Education & Health > Department of Education & Community Studies
Last Modified: 21 Apr 2017 14:44
Selected for GREAT 2016: GREAT b
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/15268

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