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Bloomsbury attitudes to the Great War

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.

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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
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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

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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

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Post-9/11 Horror and the Gothic Clash of Civilisations

Twentieth century cinema involving monster conflict featured solitary monsters in combat (Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, for example). The writing of Anne Rice and the RPG Vampire: The Masquerade by White Wolf Games introduced the idea of Gothic communities and civilisations in conflict. It was not until after the terror attacks of 11 September that the idea of a clash of civilisations between supernatural societies fully emerged into the mainstream of popular culture. This essay explores the construction of a clash of civilisations between supernatural communities as a form of using the Gothic as a metaphor for contemporary terrorism in film and television series such as Underworld, Twilight, True Blood and The Vampire Diaries. Inevitably, it is the lycanthropes that are the disempowered and disenfranchised society and are alternately exploited by and rebel against the dominant vampire civilisation grown decadent and on the verge of collapse. Post-9/11 Gothic posits a world in which vampire society is the new normal, and werewolves represent a hidden danger within. Lycanthropes must be controlled, profiled and/or fought and defeated. Through close readings of the cinematic and televisual texts, I explore the vampire/werewolf clash as metaphor and metonym for the war on terror.

Gothic Studies
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Conclusion In addition to a dawning comprehension of what had occurred, the chief legacy of the Great War was change. On 2 September 1914 The Times printed for the first time Rudyard Kipling’s poem ‘For All We Have and Are’ in which the nation’s poet lamented that, ‘Our world has passed away/In wantonness o’erthrown’, the only solid things remaining being ‘steel and fire and stone’. If the realities of war focused attention on the basic elements of existence and survival, the well-spring of grief and self-examination that characterised the post-war world did not

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7 Obscurer individuals and their themes of response The destruction of nature as reality and metaphor This chapter casts the net wider. Following the responses of the small but influential Bloomsbury circle, the earlier chapters have encompassed the experiences of other celebrated thinkers and writers (especially Bertrand Russell), some of whom donned uniform, and also certain women, well-known and otherwise, some of whom travelled to the war-zone as nurses or observers. It has became clear that similar aesthetic–humanistic responses occurred outside the

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1 ‘Recognised’ forms of opposition Opposition to the Great War took many forms. This was perhaps not surprising, given its scale. It was a unique occasion for Great Britain. Never before had the whole, industrialised nation been mobilised for war on this scale. In medieval times, men who worked on the land had, in times of threat, left their harvests and gone to war as part of the agreement between landowner and serf. Much later, with the establishment of a regular army and navy, there was little need of binding agreements. As often as not, men joined up out of

in A war of individuals
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Introduction The Great War still haunts us. During the first few weeks of 1998, various British national broadsheets carried articles on recently released War Office papers dating back over eighty years and relating to the case of the celebrated First World War poet, Siegfried Sassoon. Although at times a fearless and sometimes reckless warrior, known to the men who served under him as ‘Mad Jack’, Sassoon had also written powerful anti-war poetry and, though decorated for his bravery on the Western Front, had thrown his Military Cross into the river Mersey

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