2.50
Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10547/577169
Title:
Generation and regeneration: a tale of 'Helen’s Babies'.
Authors:
Darwood, Nicola
Abstract:
In 1876 John Habberton published his first novel, Helen's Babies: With Some Account of Their Ways Innocent, Crafty, Angelic, Impish, Witching, and Repulsive, Also, a Partial Record of Their Actions During Ten Days of Their Existence. The novel follows the trials and tribulations of Harry, Helen’s brother, left alone for a fortnight with his two nephews whose behaviour both charms and exhausts him in equal measure. It was a popular adult book from its first edition; however, over the succeeding years the novel has come to be regarded as a children’s book, rather than one for adults, and this transition, this regeneration, provides an interesting component in the history of the publication of children’s fiction. Although Habberton might have believed that the novel ‘had no literary justification for surviving its first summer’,[1] reporting that it was ‘declined by every prominent publishing house in the United States’,[2] George Orwell noted that ‘in its day [the novel was] one of the most popular books in the world–within the British Empire alone it was pirated by twenty different publishing firms, the author receiving a total profit of £40 from a sale of some hundreds of thousands or millions of copies.’[3] Part of its enduring charm may lie in its picture of a past which Orwell describes as ‘not only innocen[t] but [depicting] a sort of native gaiety, a buoyant, carefree feeling’’,[4] its popularity possibly enhanced by the 1924 movie adaptation starring the child actor Baby Peggy and Clara Bow.[5] With each edition and revision of the text, a new audience was sought. The regeneration of the text – from adult book to children’s book – is a fascinating story; through an analysis of six different editions of the book which focuses on the materiality of the book, the type and the illustrations, this paper charts that journey of regeneration, as Helen’s Babies became a novel which was firmly at the heart of childhood in the mid twentieth century.
Citation:
Darwood, N (2015) “Generation and Regeneration: A tale of 'Helen’s Babies' ”, SHARP (Society for History, Authorship and Publication) Annual Conference, University of Sherbrooke at Longueuil/McGill University, Montreal. Available at: http://www.sharpweb.org/ocs/index.php/annual/sharp2015/paper/view/112
Issue Date:
Jul-2015
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10547/577169
Additional Links:
http://www.sharpweb.org/ocs/index.php/annual/sharp2015/paper/view/112
Type:
Conference papers, meetings and proceedings
Language:
en
Description:
Conference papers from 23rd annual conference of the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading & Publishing (SHARP).
Appears in Collections:
English Language and Literature

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorDarwood, Nicolaen
dc.date.accessioned2015-09-11T09:46:39Zen
dc.date.available2015-09-11T09:46:39Zen
dc.date.issued2015-07en
dc.identifier.citationDarwood, N (2015) “Generation and Regeneration: A tale of 'Helen’s Babies' ”, SHARP (Society for History, Authorship and Publication) Annual Conference, University of Sherbrooke at Longueuil/McGill University, Montreal. Available at: http://www.sharpweb.org/ocs/index.php/annual/sharp2015/paper/view/112en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10547/577169en
dc.descriptionConference papers from 23rd annual conference of the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading & Publishing (SHARP).en
dc.description.abstractIn 1876 John Habberton published his first novel, Helen's Babies: With Some Account of Their Ways Innocent, Crafty, Angelic, Impish, Witching, and Repulsive, Also, a Partial Record of Their Actions During Ten Days of Their Existence. The novel follows the trials and tribulations of Harry, Helen’s brother, left alone for a fortnight with his two nephews whose behaviour both charms and exhausts him in equal measure. It was a popular adult book from its first edition; however, over the succeeding years the novel has come to be regarded as a children’s book, rather than one for adults, and this transition, this regeneration, provides an interesting component in the history of the publication of children’s fiction. Although Habberton might have believed that the novel ‘had no literary justification for surviving its first summer’,[1] reporting that it was ‘declined by every prominent publishing house in the United States’,[2] George Orwell noted that ‘in its day [the novel was] one of the most popular books in the world–within the British Empire alone it was pirated by twenty different publishing firms, the author receiving a total profit of £40 from a sale of some hundreds of thousands or millions of copies.’[3] Part of its enduring charm may lie in its picture of a past which Orwell describes as ‘not only innocen[t] but [depicting] a sort of native gaiety, a buoyant, carefree feeling’’,[4] its popularity possibly enhanced by the 1924 movie adaptation starring the child actor Baby Peggy and Clara Bow.[5] With each edition and revision of the text, a new audience was sought. The regeneration of the text – from adult book to children’s book – is a fascinating story; through an analysis of six different editions of the book which focuses on the materiality of the book, the type and the illustrations, this paper charts that journey of regeneration, as Helen’s Babies became a novel which was firmly at the heart of childhood in the mid twentieth century.en
dc.language.isoenen
dc.relation.urlhttp://www.sharpweb.org/ocs/index.php/annual/sharp2015/paper/view/112en
dc.titleGeneration and regeneration: a tale of 'Helen’s Babies'.en
dc.typeConference papers, meetings and proceedingsen
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