Andrew Frayn
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‘What a victory it might have been’
C. E. Montague and the First World War
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This chapter discusses the importance of silence for the First World War and the Armistice, and argue that in C. E. Montague's post-war writings silence does not offer consolation. Silence and the Armistice are intimately linked: the literal silencing of the artillery and personnel of the Western Front led eventually to peace. Montague believed in the value of physical endeavour and, for the most part, was at odds with the official line of the Manchester Guardian on the First World War. In Disenchantment, Montague describes the initial period after joining up as leisure, almost a return to childhood. Silence during wartime is an uncanny, haunting quality for Montague. Montague's writing about the war gives little sense of the war's end as a victory worthy of celebration; he explicitly links the Armistice with disenchantment.

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The silent morning

Culture and memory after the Armistice

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