Oh, Golly, What a Happy Family! Trajectories of Citizenship and Agency in Three Twentieth-Century Book Series for Children

  • Michelle Beissel Heath
Keywords: Dutch Doll, Noddy, Happy Families, playthings

Abstract

This article explores three British picture-book series that were created out of children’s playthings: Florence and Bertha Upton’s Dutch Doll and Golliwogg series, Enid Blyton’s Noddy series, and Allan Ahlberg’s Happy Families series. These series span the twentieth century, giving snapshots of politically and culturally charged intersections between childhood and citizenship. Considered together, they highlight a narrowing in scope of agency from notions of global citizenship early in the century to local, community-based citizenship rooted in village authority, economic ties, and fiscal responsibility at mid-century to citizenship based on familial interests and the social family unit at the end of the century.

Author Biography

Michelle Beissel Heath

Michelle Beissel Heath is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Nebraska, Kearney, where she specializes in children’s literature and in nineteenth-century British literature. She has articles on nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century children’s play and literary texts that appear or are forthcoming in Childhood in Edwardian Fiction: Worlds Enough and Time (Palgrave, 2008), The Oscholars (2009), Critical Survey (2012), Oceania and the Victorian Imagination (Ashgate, 2013), Kidding Around: The Child in Film and Media (Bloomsbury, 2014), and Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth.

Published
2013-06-04
How to Cite
Beissel Heath, M. (2013). Oh, Golly, What a Happy Family! Trajectories of Citizenship and Agency in Three Twentieth-Century Book Series for Children. Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures, 5(1). Retrieved from http://jeunessejournal.ca/index.php/yptc/article/view/158
Section
Articles