Child-Loving: The Erotic Child and Victorian Culture
The question ``What is a child?'' is at the heart of the world the Victorians made. Throughout the nineteenth century, there developed an image of the child as a symbol of purity, innocence, asexuality--the angelic child perhaps not wholly real. Yet at the same time, the child could be a figure of fantasy, obsession, and surpressed desires, as in the case of Lewis Carroll's Alice (or later, James Barrie's Peter Pan). This image of the child as both pure and strangely erotic is part of the mythology of Victorian culture.
Now available in paper, Child Loving traces for the first time the growth of the Victorian--and modern--conceptions of the body, the child, sexuality, and the stories we tell about them. Dealing with one of the most intimate and troubling notions of the modern period--how the Victorians (and we, their descendents) imagine children within the continuum of human sexuality--this work compels us to reconsider just how we love the children we love.
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