Publishing, translation, archives : Nordic children’s literature in the United Kingdom, 1950-2000
Berry, Charlotte Jane
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This thesis uses a multidisciplinary approach drawing primarily on archival and bibliographical research as well as the fields of children’s literature, book history and translation to explore British translation of Nordic children’s fiction since 1950. Which works of Nordic children’s literature have been published in the UK during the period in question? And how were Nordic children’s authors and texts selected by British publishers, along with British translators and illustrators? Chapter One gives an overview of limited past research in this area, focusing on publishing and book history and Translation Studies (particularly Polysystem Theory). Chapter Two considers bibliographical research already undertaken in Children’s Literature Translation Studies and is followed by a detailed study of the British National Bibliography (1950-2000). This methodological approach has documented for the first time the depth and breadth of the corpus of British translations of Nordic children’s fiction since 1950, enabling key authors, publishers, translators and genres to be identified. A brief analysis is given of the Golden Age of Nordic children’s literature in British translation up to 1975, followed by a decline into the twenty first century. The thesis then goes on to examine the principles and practices of text and translator selection as its second major research element, with extensive use made here of archival sources. Chapter Three explores publishing archives as a research resource and details issues in their distribution and potential use. Chapter Four gives an overview of the key role of the editor as a centre pin in the process of publishing works in translation, drawing on a wide range of publishing archives as well as introducing the case study part of the thesis which examines an independent press and a major international academic publishing house. Chapter Five looks in detail at the role of author-educator-publisher Aidan Chambers in publishing Nordic children’s literature in the early 1990s through small press Turton & Chambers. Chapter Six examines the role of Oxford University Press in publishing Nordic authors from the 1950s to the 2010s, in particular Astrid Lindgren. This thesis aims to make a significant and unique scholarly contribution to the hitherto neglected study of the translation of children’s literature into British English, offering a methodological framework (bibliographical and archival) which has potential for use with other language systems and with adult literature in translation.