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The Past Contains a Promise of Regeneration: Narratives of Ireland’s Future in Early-Twentieth-Century Juvenile Periodicals

Author
  • Elena Ogliari

Abstract

This article investigates the popular periodicals for juveniles Our Boys, Fianna, Young Ireland, and St. Enda’s, which were cherished by Irish nationalists as home-grown substitutes for the alienating British story papers in the Ireland of the early twentieth century. With Ireland still under British rule, these periodicals were concerned about the role of youths in the context of nation-building and my contention is that the people involved in such editorial enterprises viewed them as potentially transformative forces of society, which not only harnessed the power of the idea of political upheaval, but also forged the agents who were to build the envisioned free Irelands. Contributing to the definition of an appropriate ‘post-independence’ national identity, they thus offered to the young visions of the future nation that predicated its legitimacy upon an appeal to the past and the appreciation of traditions. At the same time, young readers were presented with exemplary models of Irish citizenship drawn from Irish heritage of myths and histories. Hence, through the close scrutiny of primary texts from the crucial 1914–23 years, my objective is to show how the future Irelands first imagined and narrated in the periodicals would find their roots in the past and draw energies and strength from the nation’s cultural heritage.

How to Cite:

Ogliari, E., (2021) “The Past Contains a Promise of Regeneration: Narratives of Ireland’s Future in Early-Twentieth-Century Juvenile Periodicals”, Journal of European Periodical Studies 6(2), 36–54. doi: https://doi.org/10.21825/jeps.v6i2.20257

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Published on
18 Dec 2021
Peer Reviewed