A View of War and Soldiering in the Carey Novels of Ronald Welch View Full Text


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Article Info

DATE

2016-12

AUTHORS

Clive Barnes

ABSTRACT

Ronald Welch’s novels featuring the military adventures of the young men of the Carey family were first published between 1954 and 1976 and have recently been reissued. They were uniquely representative of historical military adventure for children in the Britain of this period; and were the last example of a vigorous century-old genre in respectable children’s publishing, particularly intended for boy readers, which honoured warrior virtues and regarded war as a crucible of male character. Children’s fiction since then has generally shied away from depicting soldiering. Where it has done it has focused mainly on the First World War and shown soldiers largely as victims. Welch’s work melds a model of heroic military adventure, inherited from the previous century, with a perception of the horrors of twentieth-century war derived from two world wars and his own experience of professional soldiering. While significantly amending the notion of war and soldiering as a heroic adventure, which he inherited from his predecessors, his work nevertheless retains the idea of combat as a character-forming male experience and implicitly offers military virtues as a model of manhood. While the attitudes expressed in his work were rejected by his publishers towards the end of his career, his views were perhaps an expression of more widely held beliefs at the time. And, for some of his original readers, the republication of his books is seen as a welcome re-affirmation of old values. More... »

PAGES

300-324

References to SciGraph publications

  • 1972-07. Attention to detail: The workbooks of Ronald Welch in CHILDREN'S LITERATURE IN EDUCATION
  • Identifiers

    URI

    http://scigraph.springernature.com/pub.10.1007/s10583-015-9269-8

    DOI

    http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10583-015-9269-8

    DIMENSIONS

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