A portrait of the Boer as an enemy: British juvenile literature and the Anglo-Boer war

  • G Teulié


Whenever we look at the way war is waged at the beginning of the XXIst century, we cannot fail to notice the importance of the propaganda used to convince people of the righteousness of the cause defended by the propagandists. At the end of the XIXth century, things were not really different: young British boys were the targets of the ideologists who aimed at promoting a consensual vision of the Empire through popular culture. Among the various media used to put foreward such imperialist ideas, juvenile literature, and more specifically novels, is the corpus which enables the historian of mentalities to understand the systems of representations which were induced in young boys' minds. Many themes were common to that type of literature, such as the death of the glorious and heroic British Tommy who dies to protect the boundaries of the Empire. Now that we are celebrating the anniversary of the conflict between the Britons and the Boers in South Africa, it is interesting to try and see how public opinion was manipulated at that time.

SA Journal of Cultural History Vol.15(2) 2001: 80-94

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eISSN: 1011-3053