Alice to the Lighthouse is the first and only full-length study of the relation between children's literature and writing for adults. Lewis Carroll's Alice books created a revolution in writing for and about children which had repercussions not only for subsequent children's writers - such as Stevenson, Kipling, Nesbit, Frances Hodgson Burnett and Mark Twain - but for Virginia Woolf and her generation. Virginia Woolf's celebration of writing as play rather than preaching is the twin of the Post-Impressionist art championed by Roger Fry. Dusinberre connects books for children in the late nineteenth century with developments in education and psychology, all of which feed into the modernism of the early twentieth century.
'Each reader is likely to find some favourite writer here set in a new perspective. . . .especially persuasive in her treatment of Stevenson, whose ideas on aesthetics, when cross-cut with those of Fry and Woolf, seem freshly modern. . . here beautifully explored. . . .Alice to the Lighthouse engaged me more than any critical book I have read for a long time.' - Susan R. Gannon, Children's Literature Association Quarterly
'The central thesis of Juliet Dusinberre's engaging and beautifully written book is that many ... of the mould-breaking discoveries of modernism can be traced back to the artist's childhood experiences and insights. The exemplary modernist is Virginia Woolf, and the exemplary children's book is Alice in Wonderland... She makes out a splendid case with grace and wit and a commendable refusal of literary jargon.' - Andrew Davies, The Listener
'Wonderfully skilful and insightful study....Dusinberre deals as ably with Willa Cather as she does with Virginia Woolf, with Mark Twain as well as Lewis Carroll. Alice to the Lighthouse is an extraordinary book, learned and provocative.' - Regina Barreca, PMLA Annual of Children's Literature