n Mousaion - 'Give us all missionary eyes and missionary hearts' : triumphalism and missionising in late-Victorian children's literature

Volume 29, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0027-2639



Late-Victorian British children's literature celebrated the Empire and its perceived influence in civilising and Christianising the countries conquered by Britain. A key part of the influence was seen as the missionaries, who brought the benefits of both Christianity and British influence to the colonies. The inhabitants of those colonies were constructed as "savage" and "other" and children's support for the work of the missionaries was sought through their literature. In some instances, countries not directly within the Empire were depicted as in need of Christianising as a way of developing and modernising. This article examines the ways in which a number of texts published at the height of the British Empire sought to influence children's perceptions of foreign countries and the importance of the work of the missionaries.

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