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Didactics and the Modern RobinsonadeNew Paradigms for Young Readers$
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Ian Kinane

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781789620047

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789620047.001.0001

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‘What a Crusoe crowd we shall make!’

‘What a Crusoe crowd we shall make!’

Destabilising Imperialist Attitudes to Space in G. Warren Payne’s Three Boys in Antarctica

(p.53) Chapter One ‘What a Crusoe crowd we shall make!’
Didactics and the Modern Robinsonade

Sinead Moriarty

Liverpool University Press

This chapter considers William Payne’s 1912 novel Three Boys in Antarctica in light of the Robinsonade genre - in particular as an example of a text which relocates the tropical desert-island setting to the icy world of the Antarctic. It argues that, while the story does contain some traditional elements of the Robinsonade narrative, the Antarctic setting has a significant impact on the text’s underlying didactics. The chapter also argues for the importance of spatial considerations within the Robinsonade genre and offers a reconsideration of the traditional topography of the genre, underlining the significant relationship between the space of the text and the characters who inhabit it. Instead of celebrating the adventuring spirit of the traditional Robinsonades, the chapter concludes that Payne’s tale is a cautionary one, and one which seeks to undo the political heritage of the Robinsonade genre at large.

Keywords:   Didactics, Robinsonade, G. Warren Payne, Three Boys in Antarctica, Spatiality

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