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A study in obsolete patriotism

The Victorian private solider was a despised figure. Yet in the first sixteen months of the Great War two and a half million men from the UK and many more from the empire, flocked to the colours without any form of legal compulsion. This book is the result of reflection on one of the most extraordinary mass movements in history: the surge of volunteers into the British army during the first sixteen months of the Great War. The notion that compulsory service in arms was repugnant to British tradition was mistaken. The nation's general state of mind, system of values and set of attitudes derived largely from the upper middle class, which had emerged and become dominant during the nineteenth century. The book examines the phenomenon of 1914 and the views held by people of that class, since it was under their leadership that the country went to war. It discusses the general theoretical notions of the nature of war of two nineteenth-century thinkers: Karl von Clausewitz and Charles Darwin. By 1914 patriotism and imperialism were interdependent. The early Victorians directed their abundant political energies chiefly towards free trade and parliamentary reform. It was the Germans' own policy which jolted the British into unity, for the Cabinet and the nation were far from unanimously in favour of war until the Germans attacked Belgium. Upper-class intellectual culture was founded on the tradition of 'liberal education' at the greater public schools and at Oxford and Cambridge.

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Legacies and afterlives

This book charts the vast cultural impact of Charlotte Bronte since the appearance of her first published work, Poems by Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell. It highlights the richness and diversity of the author's legacy, her afterlife and the continuation of her plots and characters in new forms. The most well known and well regarded of the three sisters during the Victorian period, Charlotte Bronte bequeathed a legacy which is more extensive and more complex than the legacies of Emily Bronte and Anne Bronte. The book shows how Bronte's cultural afterlife has also been marked by a broad geographical range in her consideration of Bronte-related literary tourism in Brussels. It is framed by the accounts of two writers, Elizabeth Gaskell and Virginia Woolf, both of whom travelled to Yorkshire to find evidence of Charlotte Bronte's life and to assess her legacy as an author. The book focuses upon Bronte's topical fascination with labour migration for single, middle-class women in the light of the friendship and correspondence with Mary Taylor. Recent works of fiction have connected the Brontes with the supernatural. The book explores Bronte biodrama as a critically reflexive art: a notable example of popular culture in dialogue with scholarship, heritage and tourism. The Professor and Jane Eyre house the ghost of an original verse composition, whose inclusion allows both novels to participate together in a conversation about the novel's capacity to embody and sustain a lyric afterlife. A survey of the critical fortunes of Villette is also included.

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Work, narrative and identity in a market age

The global financial crisis of the early twenty-first century focused attention on the processes that sustain the excesses of corporate capitalism. This book gives an account of the role played by literature in human subjectivity and identity under the working conditions of late-capitalism as these affect the well-being of specialist, middle-class and public sector professionals. It explores how the organisation struggles to reconcile the flexibility and responsiveness characteristic of modern business with the unity and stability needed for a coherent image. Next, an examination of business survivor manuals addressing the needs of employees failing to cope with time-pressure and the required transformation into perfect new economy workers discovers their use of appealing narrative principles. The book covers the theoretical foundations on which assumptions about the subjectivity and identity of the professional middle class have been made, including the ideological pressures and contradictions. It also investigates satisfying work more fully through analysis of popular practical instruction books on cookery and horticulture. The book considers how organic activities involving slow time, such as horticulture, cookery and the craft of writing about them, give a strong cultural message concerning the current organisation of time, work satisfaction and relationships. In particular, it deals with how the human feels attuned to balance, continuity and interconnectedness through the cyclical patterns and regulated rhythms of slower evolutionary change evident in natural systems. The nature of the autobiographic text is also considered in the book.

Myths and Metaphors of Popular Imperialism, 1880–1918

The debate about the Empire dealt in idealism and morality, and both sides employed the language of feeling, and frequently argued their case in dramatic terms. This book opposes two sides of the Empire, first, as it was presented to the public in Britain, and second, as it was experienced or imagined by its subjects abroad. British imperialism was nurtured by such upper middle-class institutions as the public schools, the wardrooms and officers' messes, and the conservative press. The attitudes of 1916 can best be recovered through a reconstruction of a poetics of popular imperialism. The case-study of Rhodesia demonstrates the almost instant application of myth and sign to a contemporary imperial crisis. Rudyard Kipling was acknowledged throughout the English-speaking world not only as a wonderful teller of stories but as the 'singer of Greater Britain', or, as 'the Laureate of Empire'. In the last two decades of the nineteenth century, the Empire gained a beachhead in the classroom, particularly in the coupling of geography and history. The Island Story underlined that stories of heroic soldiers and 'fights for the flag' were easier for teachers to present to children than lessons in morality, or abstractions about liberty and responsible government. The Education Act of 1870 had created a need for standard readers in schools; readers designed to teach boys and girls to be useful citizens. The Indian Mutiny was the supreme test of the imperial conscience, a measure of the morality of the 'master-nation'.

Middle-class identity and documentary film

5 Approaching the invisible centre: middle-class identity and documentary film So far in this book I have considered various engagements with screen documentary made by viewers other than myself. In this chapter I turn attention to some of my own responses to documentary films, and explore how my identity, particularly its middleclass aspect, has shaped these reactions. The purpose behind this move is not to wallow in narcissism, nor to ‘restore’ a middleclass, white and male subjectivity to the centre stage of film and media studies – if it has ever been truly

in Watching the world
Remaking middle-class hegemony

7 Urban chaos and the imagined other: remaking middle-class hegemony While Chapters 5 and 6 explored how students navigated and negotiated Dreamfields’ conveyor belt, where middle-class and mostly white students were positioned as a buffer zone against urban chaos, this chapter examines parents’ orientations to the institution. Responses to the urban chaos discourse show how parents and students conceptualise their positions within this imagined Urbanderry landscape. Discourses of pathology shape the relationships developed between parents and teachers

in Factories for learning

2 The feminine public sphere The feminine public sphere represents the discourses and activities that middle-class female activists used to pursue their socio-political reforming goals. Between 1870 and 1914, suffragists, female temperance reformers and Liberal women in central, urban Scotland entered public discourse to legitimise middle-class women’s work in the public sphere. The SWTN, WSJ and the SLWM indicate the type of arguments middleclass women employed to justify their public roles. Separate spheres was a central discursive notion in the 1870 to 1914

in The feminine public sphere
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weaker as the unions were forced into retreat. The divisive politics of the 1980s fuelled hatred on both sides. At a time when class language and analysis were being suppressed in public discourse, Thatcherism was wielding a class politics from above. Just at the moment when turbulent change was radically transforming the working class, it was being silenced. Indeed, many class analyses subsequently concentrated upon ­middle-class individuality within the marketplace. It became less tenable to unite a diversity of groups under a class banner as gay, black and women

in Working-class writing and publishing in the late twentieth century
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Middle-class men and the First World War

Introduction: Middle-class men and the First World War Decades after the end of the conflict, F. W. M. Drew recalled that in 1917, at the age of thirteen, he had entered ‘HMS Conway, the naval training base near Liverpool’. He had ‘fully expected to be able to take an active part in the war, but the following year it was all over. Still, several of my fellow trainees, lads of sixteen and seventeen who had graduated and gone to sea, never returned’. He added that ‘the toll had been so terrible that no one dared speak of their experiences. Only those like myself

in Civvies

are evident in films about service life, though differences in rank receive surprisingly little emphasis once individuals are socialised into the institution by initial training. In spite of this, distinctions are implicit in the convention that those who give the orders are upper or middle class, as They Were Not Divided (d. Terence Young, 1950) illustrates, with NCOs occupying an ambiguous supervisory role. On the

in The British working class in postwar film