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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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Navigating Nationhood, Gender, and the Robinsonade in The Dreams of Myfanwy

Navigating Nationhood, Gender, and the Robinsonade in The Dreams of Myfanwy

(p.91) Chapter Three Navigating Nationhood, Gender, and the Robinsonade in The Dreams of Myfanwy
Didactics and the Modern Robinsonade

Siwan M. Rosser

Liverpool University Press

This chapter argues that The Dreams of Myfanwy, written by Welsh writer Moelona and concerned with the experiences of the female author writing in a minority language, negotiates an intriguing relationship with, and offers perspective on, the patriarchal, imperial ideologies traditionally associated with imitations of Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe. The chapter contends that the didactic impulse of this particular Robinsonade is to inculcate within its young readers a sense of Welsh national and cultural difference; like many other popular adventure novels written in Welsh from the 1910s to the 1930s, Moelona’s novel is specifically designed to entice readers and to instil a sense of pride in their cultural and linguistic distinctiveness. The chapter concludes by arguing that this text is a teaching tool that embodies the tension between creativity and didacticism, and which ultimately allows its young readers to navigate an understanding of what it meant to be a young Welsh adolescent in early 20th-century Britain.

Keywords:   Welsh Robinsonade, didacticism, The Dreams of Myfanwy, minority language, female authorship

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