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Illustrated 'Histories of England' for Children in the late Victorian and Edwardian period

Abstract : As the discipline of History was formalised and professionalised at the end of the nineteenth century, writers of popular histories came under a degree of pressure to conform to the fact-based norms of the emerging academic discipline. At the same time, however, the state provision of elementary education was opening up new markets for history textbooks. The specialised publishers that catered for these markets used new printing technologies to make colourful illustrated histories affordably available to a youthful audience. The books that resulted sometimes resembled adventure stories, much to the disapproval of the academic historians. This article compares the communication strategies of two differently placed Edwardian writers of such histories, C.RL. Fletcher and H.E. Marshall, focusing on their use of images and verse as a way of completing and augmenting the narrative impact of their texts, and the particular form of appeal to historical factuality thus enabled. RESUME À la fin du dix-neuvième siècle, l'Histoire se constitue en tant que discipline dans les universités anglaises. Cette autorité institutionnelle impose progressivement aux auteurs d'Histoires, mêmes populaires, des normes académiques qui écartent le récit au profit d'une stricte factualité. Mais à la même période, le marché du livre de jeunesse est en plein essor grâce à la généralisation de l'instruction publique et gratuite. Des éditeurs spécialisés voient le jour, profitant des nouvelles technologies qui leur permettent de proposer au jeune public des manuels d'histoire en couleur, richement illustrés, à des prix abordables. Ces livres ressemblent parfois davantage à des romans d'aventures qu'à des manuels 'sérieux' qui se limiteraient aux faits historiques. Cet article présente le cas de deux auteurs édouardiens de manuels d'histoire populaires, C.R.L Fletcher, et H. E. Marshall, dont les sensibilités idéologiques et orientations méthodologiques sont très différentes. Leur utilisation de l'image et de la poésie repose sur une stratégie narrative permettant de compléter et d'étayer le récit, créant ainsi chacun un rapport particulier à la notion de factualité. When the poet and novelist Oliver Goldsmith published a History of England in 1771, he characterised the work he had done as that of a 'compiler' and the book that resulted as an 'abridgement'. This was effectively his way of talking about what we would now call 'popular
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https://hal.univ-lorraine.fr/hal-02975698
Contributor : Richard Somerset <>
Submitted on : Thursday, October 22, 2020 - 10:47:43 PM
Last modification on : Sunday, October 25, 2020 - 3:27:19 AM

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  • HAL Id : hal-02975698, version 1

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Richard Somerset. Illustrated 'Histories of England' for Children in the late Victorian and Edwardian period. Illustrating History. Book Practices and Textual Itineraries, vol. 7. Presses Universitaires de Nancy – Editions Universitaires de Lorraine, 2018. Eds. Sophie Aymes, Brigitte Friant-Kessler and Maxime Leroy ., 2018. ⟨hal-02975698⟩

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