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What did our Victorian forebears think of their country, the empire, the army and navy, the life they led and, of course, their beloved Queen? Hundreds of mighty tomes have been written about the great colonial years when Britain ruled the waves but perhaps none summed it up so succinctly as this ABC for Baby Patriots first published in 1899. Was it written to instil patriotic and imperial values into children? After all, the great Empire builder Cecil Rhodes had said ‘Remember that you are an Englishman and have consequently won first prize in the lottery of life’; or was it a disapproving tongue in cheek comment on jingoism? You must judge for yourself. Either way it provides an extraordinary view of the Victorian values and attitudes that made Britain great.
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