Popular culture is invariably a vehicle for the dominant ideas of its age. Never was this more true than in the late-19th and early 20th centuries, when it reflected the nationalist and imperialist ideologies current throughout Europe. 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. Nineteenth-century music hall was known as the 'fount of patriotism'. A heroic and romantic vision of Empire helped to widen the appeal of British imperialism, which newspaper and magazine editors insisted on communicating to the new mass reading public. Juvenile fiction included Victorian children's books, and very few seemed deliberately anti-imperialist. The book offers a bridge between the pre-1914 period and the interwar years and between the public school and state school systems. It discusses the case of Peter Lobengula as a focus for racial attributes in late Victorian and Edwardian times. The imperial economic vision lay ready to hand for the publicists and public relations men who saw the Empire Marketing Board as one of the great opportunities in the inter-war years to develop their craft. The book also argues that whereas the Scout movement was created in the atmosphere of defensive Empire in the Edwardian period, Scouting ideology underwent a significant change in the post-war years. Girl Guides remind us that the role of girls and women in youth organisations and imperial ideologies has been too little studied.
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.
With the increasing levels of literacy later in the
century the market for juvenilefiction substantially increased, and a
new genre of imaginary adventures, given spurious authenticity through
using apparently real locations in time and space, appeared in the
bookshops. W. Gordon Stables’s To Greenland and the
Pole , in which Nansen’s crossing
undermined by the First World War or even the Second
World War. Rather, new media such as cinema and radio perpetuated imperialism “at home.” Even after Indian independence, empire, in variegated forms,
remained entrenched in the BBC’s schedules, from discussions of imperial
policy on the Third Programme to adaptations of juvenilefiction into radio
serials on the Light Programme. The BBC may not have educated its listeners
about empire, but it did help to maintain empire as a central part of the British
Monarchy served a similar function for the BBC. The BBC
juvenile publishing, for it convinced publishers that with
the expansion of schools there would emerge a large, new and untapped
source of readers. Mainstream publishers like Blackie and Macmillan
therefore launched a wide range of juvenilefiction to tap the new
market. School and Sunday school prizes were a particular area of
growth, their content and approach carefully supervised to appeal to
Female homosociality in L. T. Meade’s schoolgirl novels
Girls with ‘go’: female
homosociality in L. T. Meade’s
he juvenilefiction written by the Irish novelist L. T. Meade (Elizabeth
Thomasina Meade Toulmin Smith, 1844–1914) was extensive and
diverse in both substance and reach. Sales records for her novels, a number
of which continued to be reissued decades after their initial publication
and which sold in the tens of thousands, confirm that her work appealed
across temporal, geographical, religious, and even gendered boundaries.1
Evidence of her widespread popularity
dynamics of ‘empire
and metropolitan culture’ over the years, with many offerings
having very little to say at all about the culture of imperial Britain.
But the original optics have remained its enduring statement, from the
early forays into empire and education, theatre, migration, juvenilefiction, sexuality and the military, 89 to more recent studies of advertising, the press,
citizenship, West Indian
religious works, Bibles, prayer books, tracts and the like
were the staple fare in the first half of the century. From the middle
of the century, juvenilefiction came to be acceptable, and by the 1870s
it was virtually the norm. The National schools, the school boards set
up under the 1870 Act, Sunday schools, and other agencies were all
distributing prizes of this sort by the end of the century. A wider
The Man Livingstone emphasized Livingstone’s humble origins, mostly to identify
him with the Scottish, working-class listeners who made up a majority of the Scottish regional station’s audience. Ibid., 4–6.
110 Ibid., 1.
111 Stanley and Livingstone, 16.
112 The Man Livingstone, 23.
113 See the Radio Times, December 23, 1932, 939; Radio Times, October 18, 1935.
114 Radio Times, September 29, 1933, 4.
The BBC and national identity in Britain, 1922–53
115 Ibid. For the role of juvenilefiction in transmitting imperial ideals, see Kathryn
‘Of England, home, and duty: the image of England in Victorian
and Edwardian juvenilefiction’, in Mackenzie (ed.), Imperialism and
Popular Culture , pp. 73–93
See, for example, R. Kipling, ‘Fuzzy
Wuzzy’ (1892), in A. Rutherford (ed.), War Stories and Poems (Oxford: