Thanks to Elisabeth R. Gruner of the University of Richmond, for the positive, thoughtful review of The Place of Lewis Carroll in Children's Literature in the review section of the International Research Society of Children's Literature website . Gruner writes that she found "particularly enlightening" the chapter comparing the social class differences bewteen Alice and Hesba Stretton's Jessica's Last Prayer and the similar class issues in Victorian Britian between coffee and tea. Gruner writes:
Susina’s great contribution here, it seems to me, is that by situating the Alice books alongside Jessica’s First Prayer—by setting up the tea-or-coffee dichotomy—he is able to make an important claim about the oft-repeated truism that Wonderland “almost single-handedly helped to revise the nature of children’s literature in the nineteenth century” (108). It did so, Susina here claims, by ignoring poor children.
I appreciate that Gruner understands the interesting issues that ensue as Carroll's imaginative book becomes rises in popularity among critics while the didactic social tracts, such as Jessica's First Prayer, is dismissed.
Gruner continues that, "Susina does not rest here, however—the book as a whole goes on to provide interesting links between Alice and the Christmas pantomime tradition and, in the last three chapters, the Alice books and many of the larger trends in children’s consumer culture today."
Thanks again for the great review. It's much appreciated!