Abstract

The familiar modern icon of a child absorbed in a book firmly binds children and books in the U.S. cultural imaginary. This essay reads nineteenth-century representations of children with books to track how such images undergird fantasies of what reading is for, then and now. These variously upright, liminal, suspended, mobile, or cocooned postures and places of children's reading were joined circa 1900 by the newly-prescribed reading of bedtime stories, which identified reading with sleeping and dreaming in a nostalgic nursery fulfillment of the Romantic ideal of reading as productive of both selfpossessed interiority and self-loss.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1080-6547
Print ISSN
0013-8304
Pages
pp. 343-372
Launched on MUSE
2013-06-24
Open Access
No
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