Vol. 56 No. 1 (2008)
Research Article

After Midnight: Naming, West Indians, and British Children's Literature

Published 2008-03-01



As British explorers and colonizers spread out over the world, they used the act of naming as one of many tools to indicate ownership of their new-found empire. British children's books, which were a major part of the colonizing and imperial effort, subtly (and not so subtly) indoctrinated young readers into their positions as owners and managers of the many nations around the world within the British sphere of influence. Because the area known as 'the West Indies' formed some of Britain's earliest colonies, it is instructive to follow the history of West Indian naming in British children's books. Naming in these books show how young readers were taught first to dominate, and then (as the empire crumbled) to try and contain, and only lastly to try and understand the lands and peoples of the Caribbean Sea.


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