Popular culture is invariably a vehicle for the dominant ideas of its age. Never was this truer than in the late-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when it reflected the nationalist and imperialist ideologies current throughout Europe. It both reflects popular attitudes, ideas and preconceptions and it generates support for selected views and opinions. This book examines the various media through which nationalist ideas were conveyed in late-Victorian and Edwardian times: in the theatre, "ethnic" shows, juvenile literature, education and the iconography of popular art. It seeks to examine in detail the articulation and diffusion of imperialism in the field of juvenile literature by stressing its pervasiveness across boundaries of class, nation and gender. It analyses the production, distribution and marketing of imperially-charged juvenile fiction, stressing the significance of the Victorians' discovery of adolescence, technological advance and educational reforms as the context of the great expansion of such literature. An overview of the phenomenon of Robinson Crusoe follows, tracing the process of its transformation into a classic text of imperialism and imperial masculinity for boys. The imperial commitment took to the air in the form of the heroic airmen of inter-war fiction. The book highlights that athleticism, imperialism and militarism become enmeshed at the public schools. It also explores the promotion of imperialism and imperialist role models in fiction for girls, particularly Girl Guide stories.
The search for an improving juvenile literature demonstrates perhaps better than any other field the manner in which the core ideology of imperialism solved the many problems which had been identified during the nineteenth century. Anxieties about the extension of literacy and the provision of a distinctively juvenile literature, both in books and in periodicals, were resolved by the
British writing about India, usually referred to as ‘Anglo-Indian’ 1 literature, can be divided into three distinct periods, each with its own set of attitudes and assumptions. The first, roughly from 1800 to 1857 (the year of the Indian Mutiny), can be called the ‘era of romance’. It yielded historical romances full of action, adventure and sentimentality. Important
aristocrats or nouveaux riches. Its values were propagated through the influence of such people over the natural history establishment in the museums and universities, through the publication of large numbers of travelogues and memoirs, and in paintings and engravings. Juvenile literature invariably represents the values, aspirations or fantasy life of a contemporary elite. In the Victorian
, service and sacrifice which epitomizes the popular cultural images of the military in the heyday of the empire. 1 The affirmative attitude towards the heroism, romance and adventure of empire that these memories imply was confirmed by Shaw’s boyhood reading. He steeped himself in the juvenile literature of his age. He revered G.A. Henty, but his particular love was sea stories
British culture after empire is the first collection of its kind to explore the intertwined social, cultural and political aftermath of empire in Britain from 1945 up to and beyond the Brexit referendum of 2016, combining approaches from experts in history, literature, anthropology, cultural studies and theatre studies. Against those who would deny, downplay or attempt to forget Britain's imperial legacy, these contributions expose and explore how the British Empire and the consequences of its end continue to shape Britain at the local, national and international level. As an important and urgent intervention in a field of increasing relevance within and beyond the academy, the book offers fresh perspectives on the colonial hangovers in postcolonial Britain from up-and-coming as well as established scholars.
applied typically to Black and Asian writers. Another way of putting this, within the context of postwar British literature at least, is that postcolonial reading methods have developed in response to the work of writers such as Salman Rushdie, Hanif Kureishi and Zadie Smith. Yet this means that general surveys of postwar and contemporary English or British literature frequently use
migration Scholarship on post-war Britain has focused on how non-white migration from former colonies dramatically changed the racial and cultural make-up of the United Kingdom. This literature clearly demonstrates the continuing legacy of British imperialism, as manifested in the physical presence of former colonial subjects in the United Kingdom. This shift to a more multicultural Britain, however, was accompanied by an often overlooked exodus of large numbers of Britons to the former empire, including to South Africa
In the wake of the centenary, this historiographical process of globalising and extending the chronology of the First World War began to expand beyond academia. While the emerging scholarly literature on the Middle Eastern theatre of the war suggested other acceptable time limits, public events revolving around the war and its commemoration chose to widen the spectrum too. In October 2018, the French Army museum in Paris launched a four-month exhibition entirely dedicated to the First World War in the ‘East’, using the thought-provoking chronology of 1918–23. It
Any reader who has ever visited Asia knows that the great bulk of Western-language fiction about Asian cultures turns on stereotypes. This book, a collection of essays, explores the problem of entering Asian societies through Western fiction, since this is the major port of entry for most school children, university students and most adults. In the thirteenth century, serious attempts were made to understand Asian literature for its own sake. Hau Kioou Choaan, a typical Chinese novel, was quite different from the wild and magical pseudo-Oriental tales. European perceptions of the Muslim world are centuries old, originating in medieval Christendom's encounter with Islam in the age of the Crusades. There is explicit and sustained criticism of medieval mores and values in Scott's novels set in the Middle Ages, and this is to be true of much English-language historical fiction of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Even mediocre novels take on momentary importance because of the pervasive power of India. The awesome, remote and inaccessible Himalayas inevitably became for Western writers an idealised setting for novels of magic, romance and high adventure, and for travellers' tales that read like fiction. Chinese fictions flourish in many guises. Most contemporary Hong Kong fiction reinforced corrupt mandarins, barbaric punishments and heathens. Of the novels about Japan published after 1945, two may serve to frame a discussion of Japanese behaviour as it could be observed (or imagined) by prisoners of war: Black Fountains and Three Bamboos.