British Children's Fiction in the Second World War
What children read in the Second World War had an immense effect on how they came of age as they faced the new world. This time was unique for British children - parental controls were often relaxed if not absent, and the radio and reading assumed greater significance for most children than they had in the more structured past or were to do in the more crowded future.Owen Dudley Edwards discusses reading, children's radio, comics, films and book-related play-activity in relation to value systems, the child's perspective versus the adult's perspective, the development of sophistication, retention and loss of pre-war attitudes and their post-war fate. British literature is placed in a wider context through a consideration of what British writing reached the USA, and vice versa, and also through an exploration of wartime Europe as it was shown to British children. Questions of leadership, authority, individualism, community, conformity, urban-rural division, ageism, class, race, and gender awareness are explored.In this incredibly broad-ranging book, covering over 100 writers, Owen Dudley Edwards looks at the literary inheritance when the war broke out and asks whether children's literary diet was altered in the war temporarily or permanently. Concerned with the effects of the war as a whole on what children could read during the war and what they made of it, he reveals the implications of this for the world they would come to inhabit.