Echoing National Narratives in English History Textbooks

By scrutinizing forms of echoing in history textbooks, Van der Vlies explains persistence in textbook narrations from a different angle. The repetition and perpetuation of national narratives in history textbooks are often explained by instrumental factors, such as state control over textbook content and production. This chapter sheds light on other factors that influence specific textbook structures. Textbook narrations are embedded in wider cultural dynamics and Van der Vlies explores forms of echoing between fictional genres and textbook narrations. Furthermore, she examines how and why textbook narratives echo each other: the same pattern of narration may underlie diverse narrations of various events in unique contexts. The arguments in this chapter are illustrated by examples from English history textbooks, published in the period 1925–1965.