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In this highly original collection leading scholars address the largely overlooked genre of childhood writings by major authors, and explore the genesis of genius. The book includes essays on the first writings of Jane Austen, Byron, Elizabeth Barrett, Charlotte and Branwell Bront, Louisa May Alcott, George Eliot, John Ruskin, Lewis Carroll and Virginia Woolf. All began writing for pleasure as children, and later developed their professional ambitions. In bursts of creative energy, these young authors, as well as those like Daisy Ashford, who wrote only as a child, produced prose, verse, imitation and parody, wild romance and down-to-earth daily records. Their juvenile writings are fascinating both in themselves, and for the promise of greater works to come. The volume includes an invaluable and thorough annotated bibliography of juvenilia, and will stimulate many directions for research in this lively and fascinating topic.
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