Adapting Jules Verne for the baby-boom generation: Hachette and the Bibliothèque Verte, c.1956-1966
Heywood, S. (2013) Adapting Jules Verne for the baby-boom generation: Hachette and the Bibliothèque Verte, c.1956-1966. Modern and Contemporary France, 21 (1). pp. 55-71. ISSN 1469-9869
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1080/09639489.2012.722613
How do changing notions of children’s reading practices alter or even create classic texts? This article looks at how the nineteenth-century author Jules Verne (1828-1905) was modernised by Hachette for their Bibliothèque Verte children’s collection in the 1950s and 60s. Using the methodology of adaptation studies, the article reads the abridged texts in the context of the concerns that emerged in postwar France about what children were reading. It examines how these concerns shaped editorial policy, and the transformations that Verne’s texts underwent before they were considered suitable for the children of the baby-boom generation. It asks whether these adapted versions damaged Verne’s reputation, as many literary scholars have suggested, or if the process of dividing his readership into children and adults actually helped to reinforce the new idea of his texts as complex and multilayered. In so doing, this article provides new insights into the impact of postwar reforms on children’s publishing and explores the complex interplay between abridgment, censorship, children’s literature and the adult canon.