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Sonya Rose’s initial interest in national identity was sparked by the patriotic fervor that burst forth following the declaration of the first Iraq War (1990–1). ‘I wondered at how easily patriotic sentiment and the sense of belonging to a nation under threat – even if that threat was so far away – could be aroused’ (p. 285).
Hardly had the fighting petered out on the Somme in November 1916 than one American reviewer, W. S. Rusk, was warning scholars that much writing about the Great War would be lost to the ‘winnowing flail of time’.(1)
Historians of pretty well every field and period have long acknowledged that historical enquiry cannot (indeed, must not) be limited to describing the actions and experiences of elites.
As Antoinette Burton points out in the introduction to her newest work, The Trouble with Empire: Challenges to Modern British Imperialism, there has been no shortage of blockbusters about the British Empire to be found on the shelves of local booksellers. Many of these take for granted the rise and fall narrative of Empire.
For more than 75 years the historiographical debate surrounding the appeasement policy of the 1930s has centred upon the notorious 1940 publication Guilty Men, in which a trio of left-leaning British journalists unleashed a vitriolic polemic castigating those men responsible for leading a hopelessly ill-prepared Britain into a catastrophic war.
As Matthew McCormack makes clear right from the first line of this work, the militia was one of Georgian Britain’s most important institutions. The militia’s reform in 1757, whereby it became the New Militia, and subsequent mobilisation in the French wars of 1756–1815 were an essential component of the defence of Britain.
In late 1909, a suffragette attacked the Asquith government’s youthful President of the Board of Trade, slashing his face with a whip as he prepared to give a speech in Bristol station. Briefly stunned, he fell toward the station’s tracks at the same moment a train pulled out of the station.
A dimension that has been either obscured or silenced in discussions of the First World War is that of the networks of intellectuals and activists who protested against this global conflagration.
The literature of the British home front differs distinctly in both quantity and nature between the two wars themselves.
The general outline for this project, when the call for papers first appeared in June 2013, requested contributions for essays on the entertainments and popular culture of the First World War, offering a lot of promise for the study of humour in an historical context, which has, it would seem, only recently become of interest to cultural historians.(1) As a self-procla