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102Victorian Review the metaphor of the Angel-in-the-House is evoked throughout as a shorthand reference to the ideals of asexuaUty and selflessness, Nelson grounds her use of it solely in twentieth-century interpretations or deployments of the figure; she never, for example, mentions the metaphor's popularization through Coventry Patmore's poem of that name, nor does she discuss the poem's reception and popularity in the nineteenth century. Similarly, Nelson fails to distinguish adequately between "feminism" and "femininism" (and why is there no acknowledgement of Ellen Moers who coined the term, which she put to a sUghtiy different use, in her 1977 Literary Women"!) or between such terms as "power" and "influence," which are used interchangeably and largely uncritically. However, these are smaU quibbles; the real and important contribution of this book is its detailed charting of the ways in which children's Uterature is a primary socializing force and its uncovering of the degree to which gender constructions serve larger historical forces. Boys Will Be GirL· will be of interest not only to critics of children's Uterature but to theorists of gender. Works Cited Carpenter, Humphrey. Secret Gardens: The GoldenAge cfChildren's Literature. London: Unwin. 1985. Demers, Patricia and Gordon Moyles, eds. From Instruction to Delight: An Anthology of Children's Literature to 1850. Toronto: OUP, 1982. Moers, Ellen. Literary Women: The Great Writers. New York: Anchor, 1977. Townsend, John Rowe. Writtenfor Children: An Outline ofEnglish-Language Children's Literature. Boston: The Horn Book, 1965, rev. 1974. JO-ANN WALLACE University ofAlberta Rodney Engen. SirJohn Tenniel: Alice's White Knight. Aldershot: Scolar P, 1991. ix + 232. $55 US (cloth). "As for poUtical opinions, I have none," said Tenniel—a surprising claim from the man who was Punch's chief political cartoonist for forty years, and who created our most lasting images of Disraeli, Gladstone, Bismarck, Prince Albert, and the many recognizable icons that achieved lasting currency in Reviews103 school history books (105). Rodney Engen's biography, Sir John Tenniel: Alice's White Knight, includes other equaUy surprising testimony from Tenniel. "Do they suppose there is anything funny about meV he asked, when invited to join the Punch staff in 1850 (26). And in spite of his long and successful career as a poUtical cartoonist, he maintained an austere dignity, accepting the title of "cartoonist," which stiU had the respectable associations with Raphael and Michelangelo, but refusing to stoop to "caricature." "Caricature is always ugly and often vulgar," he announced, with patrician fastidiousness (112). As a poUtical cartoonist who struck no foul blow and, according to the DAB, "never made an enemy" (169), he wiU remain (one hopes) a rare breed. Engen's portrait, in fact, emphasizes the "Knight" in Tenniel: his strong sense of honor and chivalry, his devotion to fencing (he lost the use of his right eye at the sport) and riding, and his quixotic belief in noblesse oblige. He was likened by his contemporaries to Thackeray's Colonel Newcome, an analogy he seems to have cultivated by growing a long drooping moustache. The teasing question arises as to how such knowingness could emerge from such innocence. But Engen sidesteps the issue by himself maintaining a certain innocence on the poUtical issues. Though he reproduces many of the poUtical cartoons, his commentary lingers on artistic and technical aspects, and is disappointingly vague on the historical and political content. Biographers must choose their approaches, and this biography is strongest as an account of Tenniel's professional Ufe: the stages in his long career with Punch, his relations with the publishers and authors whose work he iUustrated (including Lewis Carroll), his place among the other graphic artists of the scene such as Doyle, Leech, Furniss and Sambourne, his adaptation to new technologies of reproduction, and his working habits. Engen quotes Tenniel on the weekly routine for his Punch work: I carry out my work thus: I never use models or Nature for the figure, drapery or anything else. But I have a wonderful memory of observations— . . . anything I see I remember. WeU, I get my subject on Wednesday night [the evening of the famous Punch dinners]; I think it out carefully on Thursday, and make...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1923-3280
Print ISSN
0848-1512
Pages
pp. 102-105
Launched on MUSE
2015-10-07
Open Access
No
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