A beautiful and devilish thing: children’s picture books and the 1914 Christmas Truce

Baguley, Margaret ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0098-6378 and Kerby, Martin ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4073-2559 (2021) A beautiful and devilish thing: children’s picture books and the 1914 Christmas Truce. Visual Communication. pp. 1-24. ISSN 1470-3572

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Abstract

For over half a century, the ‘imagining’ of the Great War in the United Kingdom has been framed by the existence of two Western Fronts, one literary and the other historical. The authors and illustrators of children’s picture books, whose work has traditionally reflected a society’s values and pre-occupations, have remained remarkably faithful to the literary construct of the war as a futile and meaningless conflict that destroyed a generation. This article will analyse four children’s picture books dealing with the Christmas Truce of 1914, which has become an historical touchstone for adherents of the literary imagining. Using methods grounded in Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL), visual grammar, and art theory the authors explore how text and image combine to create moving and insightful morality tales that use the particularities of an historical event to communicate a vision of humanity rather than a work of historical scholarship.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published online: 22 January 2021. Accepted version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Education (1 Jul 2019 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Education (1 Jul 2019 -)
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2021 04:54
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2021 04:55
Uncontrolled Keywords: artists, authors, children’s picture books, Great War, Christmas truce, First World War, illustrators, Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL), visual art, visual grammar, War Art, Western Front
Fields of Research (2008): 21 History and Archaeology > 2103 Historical Studies > 210307 European History (excl. British, Classical Greek and Roman)
21 History and Archaeology > 2103 Historical Studies > 210305 British History
19 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing > 1905 Visual Arts and Crafts > 190502 Fine Arts (incl. Sculpture and Painting)
Fields of Research (2020): 36 CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING > 3606 Visual arts > 360602 Fine arts
43 HISTORY, HERITAGE AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 4303 Historical studies > 430304 British history
43 HISTORY, HERITAGE AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 4303 Historical studies > 430308 European history (excl. British, classical Greek and Roman)
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970119 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of the Creative Arts and Writing
C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9501 Arts and Leisure > 950104 The Creative Arts (incl. Graphics and Craft)
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1301 Arts > 130103 The creative arts
28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280122 Expanding knowledge in creative arts and writing studies
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1470357220981698
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/40963

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