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Empire's Children
Child Emigration, Welfare, and the Decline of the British World, 1869–1967

$99.00 (C)

  • Publication planned for: May 2014
  • availability: Not yet published - available from May 2014
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107041387

$99.00 (C)
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  • Between 1869 and 1967, government-funded British charities sent nearly 100,000 British children to start new lives in the settler empire. This pioneering study tells the story of the rise and fall of child emigration to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Southern Rhodesia. In the mid-Victorian period, the book reveals, the concept of a global British race had a profound impact on the practice of charity work, the evolution of child welfare, and the experiences of poor children. During the twentieth century, however, rising nationalism in the dominions, alongside the emergence of new, psychological theories of child welfare, eroded faith in the 'British world' and brought child emigration into question. Combining archival sources with original oral histories, Empire's Children not only explores the powerful influence of empire on child-centered social policy, it also uncovers how the lives of ordinary children and families were forever transformed by imperial forces and settler nationalism.

    • Offers a definitive history of the child emigration movement, from its origins in the late nineteenth century through to its decline in the 1960s
    • Charts the evolution of ideas, reformers, and children between Britain and the settler dominions of Canada, Australia, and Southern Rhodesia
    • Combines archival sources with extensive historical research to include original interviews with former child migrants
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    Product details

    • Publication planned for: May 2014
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107041387
    • length: 302 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 159 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.55kg
    • contains: 10 b/w illus. 1 table
    • availability: Not yet published - available from May 2014
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction
    1. Poverty and possibility in the era of Greater Britain
    2. Developing empire, building children
    3. Upholding the banner of white Australia
    4. 'Defective' boys and 'problem' girls: selection standards in 1930s Australia and Southern Rhodesia
    5. From Imperial child welfare to national childhoods
    6. Growing up in the twilight of empire
    7. Conclusion: the problem of post-imperial belonging
    Appendix
    Bibliography.

  • Author

    Ellen Boucher, Amherst College, Massachusetts
    Ellen Boucher is Assistant Professor of European History at Amherst College. She received her Ph.D. in Modern European History from Columbia University in 2008, where she specialized in British Imperial History with a focus on oral history. Before joining Amherst, she held a tenure-track position at Furman University and also taught at Fordham University and Columbia University. One of her articles,'The Limits of Potential: Race, Welfare, and the Interwar Extension of Child Emigration to Southern Rhodesia', The Journal of British Studies (October 2009), won the 2010 Neil Sutherland Biennial Article Prize from the Canadian Historical Association for best article on the history of childhood. Her research has also been funded by awards from the Council on Library and Information Resources (Mellon Foundation), and the Doris Quinn Foundation. She is currently beginning a project exploring the connections between imperialism, decolonization, and the growth of international aid directed at African children. The first product of that research is an article titled 'Cultivating Humanitarianism: the Save the Children Fund and the British Appeal for Enemy Children, 1919–23', in Brave New World: Democratic and Imperial Nation-Building in Britain between the Wars, edited by Laura Beers and Geraint Thomas (2012).

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