Childhood as Performance: What Maisie Knew

Shuttleworth Sally

in The Mind of the Child

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780199582563
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191702327 | DOI:
Childhood as Performance: What Maisie Knew

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  • Literary Studies (19th Century)


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This chapter examines Henry James' 1897 novel What Maisie Knew in relation to child study in England during the 19th century. This novel shared with the practitioners of child psychology a desire to map the growth of a child's mind. In this work, James showed how even an understanding of objects in children is mediated through a complex network of emotional relations and he suggested that childhood itself can become a form of performance.

Keywords: Henry James; What Maisie Knew; child study; England; child psychology

Chapter.  4544 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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