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Topologies of the Classical World in Children's FictionPalimpsests, Maps, and Fractals$
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Claudia Nelson and Anne Morey

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198846031

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198846031.001.0001

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History is a Map 1

History is a Map 1

Navigating the Underworld

(p.94) 4 History is a Map 1
Topologies of the Classical World in Children's Fiction

Claudia Nelson

Anne Morey

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines E. Nesbit’s The Story of the Amulet (1906), C. S. Lewis’s The Silver Chair (1953), Roger Lancelyn Green’s Mystery at Mycenae (1957), Caroline Lawrence’s Roman Mysteries series (2001–9), K. M. Peyton’s Roman Pony trilogy (2007–9), Katherine Marsh’s The Night Tourist (2007) and The Twilight Prisoner (2009), and Tony Abbott’s Underworlds series (2011–12). All these texts involve journeys that can be plotted upon maps geographical and/or chronological, with the consequence that the major cognitive metaphor is HISTORY IS A MAP. Here family is not the site of trauma but rather a zone for the exercise of agency on the part of the young protagonist who must effectively visit an underworld to retrieve or make a family relationship and to come to terms with death. These books suggest that while the past is associated with death, it is also a haven from death.

Keywords:   Persephone myth, underworld, Orpheus myth, map, E. Nesbit, C. S. Lewis, Roger Lancelyn Green, Caroline Lawrence, K. M. Peyton, Katherine Marsh

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