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date: 19 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This article uses Margaret Sidney's domestic novel Five Little Peppers and How They Grew (1881) to reveal assumptions about social class, birth, and taste in late-nineteenth-century America. Starting with the idea of this text as a “classic,” it moves to the place of class within the classic, examining ways in which tensions between manner(s) and money illuminate popular notions about class and family. Five Little Peppers is one of the many novels of the period that celebrates the notion of a family based on choice, on ties of affection as well as those of blood. The book's plot, which celebrates the recent codification of children's rights and restores the patrician child to her rightful place in the social hierarchy, involves an entire family.

Keywords: Five Little Peppers, Margaret Sidney, social class, birth, taste, family, late nineteenth century America

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