Adventure stories for a juvenile audience were a major vector for the inculcation of preferred images of the French empire. Thrilling colonial narratives were informed by ideologies that ranged from the nuanced Anglophilia of Jules Verne in the 1860s to the deep-rooted Anglophobia of Emile Driant (‘le captaine Danrit’) on the eve of the First World War. During the 1914-1918 hostilities, childhood favourites such as Bécassine were mobilized in defence of France, together with its overseas territories. With the rise of comic strips and comic books in the 1920s, Hergé’s now celebrated Tintin emerged as a particularly powerful advocate for the colonial cause. This literary inheritance would continue to be appealed to after the Second World War, until successive French defeats in Indo-China and Algeria finally allowed writing for younger audiences to engage critically with colonial memories and post-colonial identities
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