It is unsurprising that children’s literature study as an academic discipline was not taken seriously at university level until quite late in the twentieth century. The discipline of English literature itself had for many years been regarded as something that any educated person (man?) would pick up incidentally; traditionally only Greek and Latin were seen as subjects that demanded serious study. As a result, academic scholarship was fairly slow in interrogating even the classics of children’s literature; there was a relatively small market for books which regarded children’s literature as more than an adjunct to literature written for adults.
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