Because all wars in the twenty-first century are potentially global wars, the centenary of the first global war is the occasion for reflection. This volume offers an unprecedented account of the lives, stories, letters, games, schools, institutions (such as the Boy Scouts and YMCA), and toys of children in Europe, North America, and the Global South during the First World War and surrounding years. By engaging with developments in Children’s Literature, War Studies, and Education, and mining newly available archival resources (including letters written by children), the contributors to this volume demonstrate how perceptions of childhood changed in the period. Children who had been constructed as Romantic innocents playing safely in secure gardens were transformed into socially responsible children actively committing themselves to the war effort. In order to foreground cross-cultural connections across what had been perceived as ‘enemy’ lines, perspectives on German, American, British, Australian, and Canadian children’s literature and culture are situated so that they work in conversation with each other. The multidisciplinary, multinational range of contributors to this volume make it distinctive and a particularly valuable contribution to emerging studies on the impact of war on the lives of children.
"The contributions to this impressive collection of essays address the role of literature, children’s material culture, education and institutions in shaping children’s perspectives, attitudes and morals during the Great War. (…) Children’s Literature and Culture of the First World War, a volume that certainly deserves the serious attention of children’s literature scholars." - Anja Müller, University of Siegen, Germany
"Ultimately, this timely and detailed study provides an important example of why children and childhood should be foregrounded in the study of war, and the insights that cna be gained by studying these themes in a transnational context." - Ashley Henrickson, Jeunesse, 9.2, 2017
Introduction Lissa Paul, Rosemary Ross Johnston, and Emma Short Section 1: Writing War 1. Churchill’s War Horse: Children’s Literature and the Pleasure of War Paul Stevens 2. ‘Flying the Flag’: Artuto Rossato’s First World War Fantasy Novel, L’Aeroplano di Girandolino Lindsay Myers 3. On the Italian Front: Salvator Gotta’s Piccolo Alpino (1926) Francesca Orestano 4. A ‘Revolutionary’ First World War: Girls Writing Girls in America’s St. Nicholas Magazine Andrea McKenzie 5. War, the Black Diaspora, and Anti-Colonialist Journalism: The Case of Our Boys and Girls Katharine Capshaw 6. Germanic Power and Uncle Sam’s Orders: Immigrant Experience of the First World War in Swedish-American Writings for Youth Agnieszka Stasiewicz-Bieńkowska Section 2: Propaganda & Experience 7. Schoolgirls and Female Youth in Germany during the First World War Andrew Donson 8. ‘The Eastern glow where the big sons go’: Arnold Wilson, Clifton College and the First World War Barbara Cooke 9. Australia and Wartime Chorography: Showing and Telling the Story of Home Rosemary Ross Johnston 10. The Building of Boys for War: The Militarization of Boys’ Work in the Canadian and American YMCAs Jonathan Weier 11. ‘A Salesman Soldier for Uncle Sam’: Images of Childhood in US Food Conservation, 1914-1919 Justin Nordstrom Section 3: Education & Play 12. Fun and Military Games: The War in German Picture Books, 1914-1915 Emer O’Sullivan 13. ‘A very cruel thing’: Canadian Children, The First World War and the Grain Grower’s Guide Kristine Moruzi 14. ‘How Merrily the Battle Rages’: Props for Make-Believe in the Edwardian Nursery Rosie Kennedy 15. Playing Soldiers? War, Boys, and the British Toy Industry Rachel Duffett Section 4: Activism 16. Girl Volunteers: Empowerment through Stories Margaret R. Higonnet 17. Scouting for Rebels: Na Fianna Éireann and Preparation for the Coming War, 1909-1918 Marnie Hay 18. A Child’s Army of Millions: The American Junior Red Cross Branden Little 19. ‘Leagues of Love’ and ‘Column Comrades’: Children’s Responses to War in late-Victorian and Edwardian England Siân Pooley Afterword: Prophesying War: The Hidden Agendas of British Children’s Literature, 1900-1914 … and 2015 Peter Hunt