Perceptions versus reality? Newspaper coverage on the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879.
Masters thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.
The main focus of this thesis is to research what the Irish and British public knew and understood about the Anglo-Zulu War through three famous and popular newspapers- The London Times, the Irish Times and the Illustrated London News. This is a topic that needs research, and the purpose of the thesis is to help add to the abundant literature covering other features of the war. To study the whole war in this thesis would be impossible, so three incidents will be researched- the battles of Isandlwana and Ntombe River and the death of Louis Bonaparte, the Prince Imperial. The reasons for this selection are arguably the most controversial of the war and it will be of great importance to see how these incidents were handled in contemporary newspapers. The main question that will arise is how these events were reported and how they were perceived by the public? The method of attempting this is to give short summaries of the incidents along with contemporary and modern critique, and see how they related to the themes and questions raised in the newspapers. To understand what was being written on the Zulu War in the papers may illustrate an important aspect of British and Irish society and their perceptions of war during the age of Imperialism. It will be great importance to note contrasts that emerge from the British and Irish papers, to really give a sense of how some social classes in Ireland viewed themselves within the empire and did the early British defeats reignite passion for their parent nation? All of these points are of importance to the success of the thesis to coincide with the public perceptions that were created by newspapers that may have been also been altered for the benefit of political, cultural and social idealism within the British Empire?
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