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The Silver Sword and The New Windmill: the legacy of Ian and Anne Serraillier

West, E. (2022) The Silver Sword and The New Windmill: the legacy of Ian and Anne Serraillier. Children's Literature in Education. ISSN 1573-1693

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/s10583-022-09509-5


Ian Serraillier is best remembered for his children’s book, The Silver Sword, first published in 1956. However, along with his wife Anne, he was also instrumental in creating The New Windmill series, an imprint of Heinemann Educational Books, and one of the first collections of teenage fiction aimed for the education market. This article discusses the way in which Serraillier’s ideological beliefs, rooted in his Quaker faith, can be traced not only through his nuanced depiction of children displaced by war in The Silver Sword, but also in his objectives for the New Windmill List. It explores the Serrailliers’ progressive approach to the provision of reading material for young people moving towards adulthood, and their early understanding of the need to broach the contested and complex boundaries between children’s and adult’s fiction. The New Windmill Series was created in 1949 and the Serrailliers remained the list’s editors and driving force for over thirty years, throughout a period of great sociological and political change. Both The Silver Sword and the books selected for The New Windmill list reflect the way in which attitudes towards the sharing of difficult truths and challenging ideas with this audience changed for ever during this time, due in no small part to the work of visionary authors and editors such as the Serrailliers.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Literature and Languages > English Literature
Interdisciplinary Research Centres (IDRCs) > Centre for Book Cultures and Publishing (CBCP)
ID Code:107184


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