Children’s experiences and responses to war in the nineteenth century

Posted by ap507 at Mar 22, 2018 11:06 AM |
BBC/AHRC New Generation Thinker Dr Emma Butcher to discuss research into the writing of child soldiers on BBC Radio 3 on Thursday 22 March

Issued by University of Leicester on 22 March 2018

An image of Dr Emma Butcher is available here:

What we can learn about war from the writing of child soldiers in the nineteenth century will be explored in a BBC Radio 3 Essay on Thursday 22 March with Dr Emma Butcher from the University of Leicester.

Emma, who is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in the University of Leicester’s School of Arts, will be exploring children’s historical accounts of war and whether they teach us a new, alternative military history.

The chance to make the programme is one of the many opportunities she has to work with the media as part of the New Generation Thinkers scheme, a joint initiative run by the BBC and the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

The Essay will focus on child writers during The Battle of Trafalgar and the childhood writings of the Brontë family, who were avid readers of newspaper accounts of battles and memoirs of soldiers.

Emma's research at the University of Leicester investigates children’s experiences and responses to war in the nineteenth century, including the writings of the Brontës penning fantastical war stories to reanimate the war in a post-Waterloo age - and how the writings of children embroiled in global conflicts are integral to our understanding of the brutality of war.

The ‘New Generation Thinkers’ scheme is supported by the BBC and the Arts and Humanities Research Council and aims to develop a new generation of academics who can bring the best of university research and scholarly ideas to a broad audience through working with the media, providing early career researchers with the opportunity to communicate their research findings to those outside the academic community.

“My experience on the scheme has been fantastic,” says Emma. “I have broadcast various radio programmes, written for popular magazines and newspapers, and am currently working on a trade book on the history of children and war.”  

The BBC Radio 3 episode ‘Kids With Guns’ will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on Thursday 22 March at 10:45PM. More information is available here:

Further information about Emma’s research is available here:

You can download a podcast from BBC Arts and Ideas with Emma highlighting the Essay and taking questions from the Free Thinking Festival audience here:


Notes to editors:

For more information contact Dr Emma Butcher on

Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)

The Arts and Humanities Research Council funds world-class, independent researchers in a wide range of subjects: history, archaeology, digital content, philosophy, languages, design, heritage, area studies, the creative and performing arts, and much more. This financial year the AHRC will spend approximately £98 million to fund research and postgraduate training in collaboration with a number of partners. The quality and range of research supported by this investment of public funds not only provides social and cultural benefits and contributes to the economic success of the UK but also to the culture and welfare of societies around the globe. You can find out more information via or following us on Twitter at @ahrcpress 

Leverhulme Trust:

The Leverhulme Trust was established by the Will of William Hesketh Lever, the founder of Lever Brothers. Since 1925 the Trust has provided grants and scholarships for research and education. Today, it is one of the largest all-subject providers of research funding in the UK, distributing approximately £80m a year. For more information about the Trust, please visit

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