Children’s Stories in Psychology and Literature

The next meeting of the Reading Group will be on Monday 2 March 2015 at 6.00 pm at the Lit and Phil in Newcastle upon Tyne. This session will be led by Roisin McCloskey, PhD candidate in English Literature at Durham University. Come along to what promises to be a very interesting session on ‘Children’s Stories in Psychology and Literature’.

James Sully was a leader in the newly emerging field of child psychology in the late nineteenth century. Frances Hodgson Burnett was one of the best-selling children’s writers of the time. Sully’s ostensibly tongue-in-cheek contribution to The Cornhill Magazine (1887) tells the story of a formidably articulate child; the protagonist of Burnett’s highly successful novel, A Little Princess (1905), is equally articulate, and equally good. What are the parallels between these two generically diverse texts? What are the differences? And what is the significance of divergent fates of the two precocious children who feature in them? Two influential writers of the period will facilitate a discussion of attitudes to precociously articulate children in this ‘golden age’ for both children’s literature and child study.

Readings attached:



Wine and nibbles available

For further information please contact Pat Beesley at


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