Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2019

Access Restrictions

Access restricted until 09/04/2021

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In


First Advisor

Branch, Lori

First Committee Member

Boos, Florence

Second Committee Member

Mangum, Teresa

Third Committee Member

Cox, Jeffrey L

Fourth Committee Member

Gubar, Marah


In this study, I consider five of the most eminent children’s novels of the Golden Age period, 1860-1920, The Water-Babies by Rev. Charles Kingsley, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll, The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, and Peter and Wendy by J. M. Barrie, to illustrate that the central concern of all of these novels is what it means to be a child self engaged with the world and growing up. It is my contention that, if we are to embrace what Marah Gubar terms a “kinship model” of children’s literature scholarship that sees the child and adult as in relationship to one another, a new vocabulary is necessary to discuss child and adult selfhood. In this project, I propose using Charles Taylor’s postsecular theory as a foundation for this new language, thus offering the terms porous and buffered as a new way of understanding the relationship between a child and the adult she becomes.


Childhood stuides, Postsecular studies, Victorian literature


vii, 272 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 254-272).


Copyright © 2019 Miriam Teresa Janechek

Available for download on Saturday, September 04, 2021