Monday, 11 January 2016

A Picture History of Britain

I first came across A Picture History of Britain, by Clarke Hutton on a wet winter’s day sometime in the 1950s. 

It had been published in 1945 and I guess the Oxford University Press were on to a winner right away. It tells the story of Britain through a number of bold colourful pictures with an accompanying text. Later he wrote A Picture History of Great Discoveries.

Now, I must admit that I was never completely sold on the pictures which were not realistic enough for me, but looking again at the reprint published in 2007 I have to say there is something very striking and attractive about these illustrations.

If there are criticisms of the books it is that they are very eurocentric but they are a product of the time they were written and this serves only to show how history writing for children has changed.

Picture; Cover of A Picture History of Britain

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