This is the first collection of critical essays that explores Oscar Wilde's interest in children's culture, whether in relation to his famous fairy stories, his life as a caring father to two small boys, his place as a defender of children's rights within the prison system, his fascination with youthful beauty, and his theological contemplation of what it means to be a child in the eyes of God. The collection also examines the ways in which Wilde's works-not just his fairy stories-have been adapted for young audiences.
Joseph Bristow is Distinguished Professor of English at the University of California, Los Angeles, USA. His recent books include a study co-authored with Rebecca N. Mitchell, Oscar Wilde's Chatterton: Literary History, Romanticism, and the Art of Forgery (2015) and a collection of critical essays coedited with Josephine McDonagh (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016). His critical essays have recently appeared in ELH, Études Anglaises, and the Review of English Studies, and also in several collections, including The Porn Archives (2014) and Oscar Wilde and Classical Antiquity (2017).
1. Introduction: Oscar Wilde and the Cultures of Childhood - Joseph Bristow.- 2. "Play[ing] Narcissus to a photograph": Oscar Wile and the Image of the Child - Lindsay Smith.- 3. The Good Aesthetic Child and Deferred Aesthetic Education - Diana Maltz.- 4. Wilde's Legacy: Fairy Tales, Laurence Housman, and the Expression of "Beautiful Untrue Things" - Lorraine Janzen Kooistra.- 5. Oscar Wilde, Evelyn Sharp, and the Politics of Dress and Decoration in the Fin-de-Siècle Fairy Tale - Amanda Hollander.- 6. The Aesthetics of Altruism in Oscar Wilde's Fairy Tales - Maria Tatar.- 7. Oscar Wilde's Fairly Tales and the Evolution of Lying - Jessica Straley.- The Young Know Everything: Oscar Wilde's Fairy Tales as Children's Literature - Perry Nodelman.- 9. Greater than the Mystery of Death: Rewriting Oscar Wilde for Young Audiences - Margaret D. Stetz.