Caitriona McCartney’s dissertation topic

Childrens’ Literature in the First World War

I have chosen to focus my dissertation on childrens’ literature during the First World War. The research will primarily focus on what form propaganda took within these texts and ask how far they achieved their objectives.

I choose to research this topic as I love studying the First World War. This is important, as the research will last more than a year!

You have research something that you love as it will take over your life! My research topic came by a chance find of a history of the war for children, after close examination it became clear that this work was full of propaganda. After further research I found there was little official government effort into propaganda, therefore writers took it upon themselves.

I hope to find out why authors may have written such blatant propaganda by examining their histories. For example I will focus on

A typical book that children would have read.

, Rudyard Kipling and Captain Brereton examining their personal correspondence as well as the content of their works to investigate why the felt the need to take the propaganda effort upon themselves.

The biggest challenge is establishing cause and effect; just because a child read a book does not mean it influenced them. This can only be established by examining correspondence of children and adults to examine works that they feel have influenced them.

I do not know where my research will take me but I hope that I can contribute to this new field of history.