Fighting the peace
Two women’s accounts of the post-war years
in The silent morning
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Quite early on in the novel Women of the Aftermath by Helen Zenna Smith there is an evocation of the crowds in and around Piccadilly Circus on the first Armistice Day, 11 November 1918. The second chapter of Smith's later novel Luxury Ladies (1933) also contains a description of an Armistice Day, but this one is more than a decade later. Each of the three stanzas of Vera Brittain's 1919 poem 'The Superfluous Woman', for example, ends with a different italicised line, the last of which is But who will give me my children?. By November 1932 Brittain writes that 'the usual protests' against the perpetuation of Armistice Day ceremonies are finding their way into the press. In her 1928 novel Keeping Up Appearances, Rose Macaulay has exuberant satirical fun with the tabloids' endless fascination with 'the post-war woman' and, more often, 'the post-war girl'.

The silent morning

Culture and memory after the Armistice

Editors: Trudi Tate and Kate Kennedy

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