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Why are children put in danger in 19th-century literature? Professor will explain at a public lecture

Professor Jackie Labbe will explore the ways in which children are often portrayed as unsafe or in danger in 19th century literature, in her upcoming inaugural public lecture at University of Gloucestershire.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Labbe will draw on her extensive research to highlight that while the modern notion of children as deserving of care was fully established by the Victorian period, there was also a suspicion that they were the instigators of depravity and corruption.

Professor Labbe will discuss how this paradoxical understanding of the child found its outlet in stories aimed at both entertaining children through fantasy adventures, and instructing them in proper behaviour through endangerment.

Professor Labbe’s inaugural public lecture, entitled ‘Dead Victorian Children’, will be held at the University’s Park Campus on Wednesday, 15 June between 4.30 pm and 5.30 pm.

Tickets for the public lecture are free but must be booked in advance.

Professor Labbe has published more than 50 articles and several edited collections of essays, including works on Jane Austen and William Wordsworth.

She has established herself as the world’s leading authority on Charlotte Smith, one of the central writers of the Romantic period.