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The World in Play – Portraits of a Victorian Concept - Stanford Scholarship Online
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The World in Play: Portraits of a Victorian Concept

Matthew Kaiser


Nineteenth-century Britain was a world in play. The Victorians invented the weekend and built hundreds of parks and playgrounds. In the wake of Darwin, they re-imagined nature as a contest for survival. The playful child became a symbol of the future. A world in play means two things: a world in flux and a world trapped, like Alice in Wonderland, in a ludic microcosm of itself. This book explores the extent to which play (competition, leisure, mischief, luck, festivity, imagination) pervades nineteenth-century literature and culture and forms the foundations of the modern self. Play made the V ... More

Keywords: Victorians, play, nineteenth-century literature, modernity, Emily Brontë, Robert Louis Stevenson, Oscar Wilde, John Muir

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780804776080
Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013 DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804776080.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Matthew Kaiser, author

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