Left Out presents an alternative and corrective history of writing for children in the first half of the twentieth century. Between 1910 and 1949 a number of British publishers, writers, and illustrators included children's literature in their efforts to make Britain a progressive, egalitarian, and modern society. Some came from privileged backgrounds, others from the poorest parts of the poorest cities in the land; some belonged to the metropolitan
intelligentsia or bohemia, others were working-class autodidacts, but all sought to use writing for children and young people to create activists, visionaries, and leaders among the rising generation.Together they produced a significant number of both politically and aesthetically radical publications for children
and young people. This 'radical children's literature' was designed to ignite and underpin the work of making a new Britain for a new kind of Briton. While there are many dedicated studies of children's literature and childrens' writers working in other periods, the years 1910-1949 have previous received little critical attention. In this study, Kimberley Reynolds shows that the accepted characterisation of inter-war children's literature as retreatist, anti-modernist, and apolitical is too
sweeping and that the relationship between children's literature and modernism, left-wing politics, and progressive education has been neglected.
Kimberley Reynolds is Professor of Children's Literature at the University of Newcastle. After completing her doctoral research in nineteenth-century juvenile fiction at the University of Sussex, Kim took up a post at what is now the Roehampton University where she and a colleague developed the successful MA in Children's Literature. In 1991 she conceived and established the National Centre for Research in Children's Literature (then called the Children's Literature Research Centre) which, under her direction, was awarded a Queen's Prize for Further and Higher Education 2000-2004. She led 4 national studies of young people's reading habits; the Children's Literature International Summer School, and conceived and obtained funding for the Marsh Award for Children's Literature in Translation. She has organised a number of national and international conferences.