chapter  12
18 Pages

Empire and Nation in the Lifework of Arthur Mee

ByCHRISTOPHER (KIT) KELEN

Arthur Mee’s best-known lifeworks, The Children’s Encyclopedia (The Book of Knowledge) and The Children’s Newspaper, had extraordinary currency throughout the English-speaking world for half of the twentieth century. According to Sir John Hammerton, Mee’s biographer, more than fi fty million volumes may have been sold over a thirty-fi ve-year period (Tracy 2). Since ceasing publication in the 1960s, they have had a lasting legacy in the hearts and minds of those who grew up with them. This chapter considers these works, produced for British Empire and United States (North American) consumption, from the point of view of their investment in, and propagation of the ideas of, nation and empire.