Original Paper

Children's Literature in Education

, Volume 41, Issue 3, pp 189-206

First online:

Three Walks Through Fictional Fens: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Gaffer Samson’s Luck

  • Gabrielle Cliff HodgesAffiliated withFaculty of Education, University of Cambridge
  • , Maria NikolajevaAffiliated withFaculty of Education, University of Cambridge Email author 
  • , Liz TaylorAffiliated withFaculty of Education, University of Cambridge

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The paper discusses the children’s novel Gaffer Samson’s Luck (1984), by Jill Paton Walsh, from three different perspectives; those of a cultural geographer, a literary scholar and an English teacher. It is part of a larger research project on children’s perception of their place-related identities through reading and writing. The novel is used as a case study to develop a multidisciplinary approach, drawing upon theories of literature and reading, and a conceptualisation of space in cultural geography. Employing ideas from different disciplines, the paper offers an original interpretation of the text as well as innovative analytical tools for future research and for classroom application.


Children’s literature Reader response Children’s geographies Place-related identity Jill Paton Walsh