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Bloomsbury attitudes to the Great War
Author: Jonathan Atkin

The Great War still haunts us. This book draws together examples of the ‘aesthetic pacifism’ practised during the Great War by such celebrated individuals as Virginia Woolf, Siegfried Sassoon and Bertrand Russell. It also tells the stories of those less well known who shared the attitudes of the Bloomsbury Group when it came to facing the first ‘total war’. The five-year research for this study gathered evidence from all the major archives in Great Britain and abroad in order to paint a complete picture of this unique form of anti-war expression. The narrative begins with the Great War's effect on philosopher-pacifist Bertrand Russell and Cambridge University.

For women writers, the decades of the English Civil War were of special importance. This book presents a complex and rewarding poetic culture that is both uniquely women-centred and integrally connected to the male canonical poetry. It brings together extensive selections of poetry by the five most prolific and prominent women poets of the English Civil War: Anne Bradstreet, Hester Pulter, Margaret Cavendish, Katherine Philips, and Lucy Hutchinson. All these five women were attracting new and concerted attention as poets by seventeenth-century women. Bradstreet's poems first appeared in The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung up in America, and the later volume of Several Poemsincluded revised texts of those poems and several new ones. Each version of the poems spoke more directly on the context of the English Civil War. Pulter's poems construe Broadfield as a place of unwelcome isolation: she describes herself as 'shut up in a country grange', 'tied to one habitation', and 'buried, thus, alive'. Philips's poetry was first printed in 1664, her state-political poems, on members of the royal family and events of the Civil War, Interregnum, and Restoration, suggest Philips as a poet writing on matters of political significance. Cavendish's two major editions of Poems and Fancies in 1653 and 1664 each have strongly competing claims both to textual authority and to the more resonant political moment. Across poetry and prose, print and manuscript, Hutchinson's writing bears the marks of her fervent hostility to corrupt rulers and her remarkably broad education, adventurous reading habits, and energetic intellect.

Open Access (free)
Jonathan Atkin

4 Writers at war Bertrand Russell was just one man largely thinking and acting alone – and therein rests his reputation. But to what extent – whether in private or public – did similar anti-war concerns to those of Russell and the Bloomsbury circle express themselves among the intelligentsia? The bulk of the evidence derives from the letters that sped back and forth between contemporary writers, artists and thinkers, during a time of unexpected conflict – a conflict that provoked much doubt and debate. In common with Bertrand Russell, E.M. Forster believed the

in A war of individuals
Open Access (free)
Jonathan Atkin

6 Women and the war The Great War, most people would have agreed at the time, was a male creation. Politicians, statesmen and kings bred it and soldiers fought and fed it. Thus far, this study has regarded those women within Bloomsbury whose aesthetic reactions to the conflict provide such a good starting point when examining the war in this context. What of other women, existing independently from that hot-house of creativity, but who felt similarly? Due to their status in society as a whole, women necessarily operated within a different cultural milieu to

in A war of individuals
Open Access (free)
Sara Haslam

4 In sight of war ‘Just imagine it,’ murmured Bazarov, ‘what a word can mean! You’ve found it, said it, the word “crisis” – and you’re happy! It’s astonishing how a man can still believe in words.’1 I don’t know that the large words Courage, Loyalty, God and the rest had, before the war, been of frequent occurrence in London conversations. But one had had the conviction they were somewhere in the city’s subconsciousness. . . Now they were gone.2 Ford admired Turgenev, so it is not surprising that one comes across ideas borrowed, perhaps, from him in the later

in Fragmenting modernism
Abstract only
Family, gender and post-colonial issues in three Vietnam War texts
Marion Gibson

control’. 1 ‘This is not something they [the US military] can blame on the Taliban’ noted The Times; ‘family life in the Special Forces is becoming so dysfunctional … that the killings are going to continue.’ 2 Meanwhile, other voices blame the military profession itself, seeing the victims as ‘a casualty of war’, or Fort Bragg as a ‘dumping ground for the problems of the American century of war and

in Gender and warfare in the twentieth century
Chagall’s Homage to Apollinaire and the European avant-garde
Annette Becker

were primarily artistic, intellectual and religious, national tonalities never faded away fully, with the Balkan Wars of 1912–13 giving a foretaste of the ‘real’ war to come. The avant-garde presented a chiasmus between the impulse to create and promote universal and human art and the persistence and progressive resurgence of nationalist sentiments and identities. Let us picture Chagall’s painting once more, with its clock-like multi-coloured circle in the background seemingly representing the notion of circulation of bodies and ideas before the First World War

in 1913: The year of French modernism
Jonathan Atkin

3 Academics at war – Bertrand Russell and Cambridge The University and the outbreak of war The thoughts and actions of the Cambridge mathematician and philosopher Bertrand Russell are central to this book. Russell was able to articulate with extraordinary clarity a fully humanistic opposition to the Great War and his ideas on war and the prevention of it directly affected the thinking of other individuals through his books, articles and speeches. On occasion, Russell’s concepts were echoed spontaneously by other like-minded people – often from dissimilar

in A war of individuals
Hugh Brogan

6 The Great War and Rudyard Kipling Hugh Brogan Hope lies to mortals, And most believe her, But man’s deceiver Was never mine. The thoughts of others Were light and fleeting Of lovers’ meeting Or luck or fame. Mine were of trouble And mine were steady So I was ready When trouble came (A.E. Housman1) M any, many years ago, when I was a young academic at Cambridge, I found myself sitting on a sofa having tea with E.M. Forster. It was the season between Bonfire Night and Christmas. He said that, according to his bedmaker, old people hated Remembrance Sunday: it

in In Time’s eye
Matthew Schultz

2 The specter of Famine during World War II In his 1967 documentary film, Rocky Road to Dublin, Irish filmmaker Peter Lennon took an intimate look at postcolonial Irish life. The opening voice-over narration indicated that mid-century Ireland was in a state of arrested development: In the 40s, while Europe was tearing itself to pieces, Ireland, neutral, drifted even further from the reality of the outside world. We weren’t even allowed to call it a war; officially it was The Emergency – For us a tranquil and serene emergency. The 50s brought a deepening

in Haunted historiographies