Laura has published a well respected book on Elizabethan cultural history: Praise and Paradox: Merchants And Craftsmen In Elizabethan Popular Literature, 1558-1603.
The book originated as Laura's doctoral dissertation at Yale (1974), and its revisions into book form were completed when Laura was an Andrew W. Mellon Faculty Fellow in the Humanities At Harvard University In 1982-83. But as its Acknowledgments state, it was "begun in a study filled with babies, completed in a household of junior high school girls. The research was done in moments snatched between piano lessons given to children too short to reach the pedals; and much of the writing was done in isolation from the scholarly world."
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Reviews of Praise and Paradox
Laura's much-distracted work in the scholarly world has continued in her study of late Victorian children's literature. Her articles include:
"Literary Ladders in the Golden Age of Children's Books," Sewanee Review Summer 2011. An article arguing that the Golden Age of Children's Literature can be attributed in part to a seismic revolution in the English publishing world in the 1890s. -Received the Walter Sullivan Prize for achievement in the criticism of fiction
"Mowgli and His Stories: Some Version of the Pastoral," Sewanee Review, Summer 2001. The classic article on Kipling's Jungle Books.
"'A Vogue for Small Books': The Tale of Peter Rabbit and its Contemporary Competitors," in Beatrix Potter Studies X, Where Next, Peter Rabbit?, 11-27. Exeter: The Studio Publishing Services, Ltd., 2003. An article suggesting that Beatrix format for Peter Rabbit was influenced by Helen Bannerman's Little Black Sambo. The article appeared in Beatrix Potter Studies X: Where Next, Peter Rabbit? (2002 Conference, Ambleside) 2003. Republished here courtesy of the Beatrix Potter Society