The inter-war years
in Britannia’s children
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Texts of the inter-war period suggest that the problems which remain are due to the character of the Indian peoples, their fatalism, illiteracy, backwardness, conservatism and natural improvidence. While de-emphasising the overt imperial messages of the pre-war publications, the magazines of the inter-war years continued to propagate images of the Indian forged in the colonial context. Studies of children's reading habits in the inter-war years confirm the consumption of at least two or three storypapers a week by school-age children. The juvenile market was immensely prolific in the inter-war years, and the large cast of 'alien' characters was an important part of their continued appeal to the audience. Information continued to be centred on encounters in the Opium Wars, the Arrow incident, and the Boxer Rebellion. The treatment of South Africa and the Boer War illustrates how progress had been made in presenting a more balanced view of the 'natives'.

Britannia’s children

Reading colonialism through children’s books and magazines


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