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Ford Madox Ford, the novel and the Great War
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This book is about Ford Madox Ford, a hero of the modernist literary revolution. Ford is a fascinating and fundamental figure of the time; not only because, as a friend and critic of Ezra Pound and Joseph Conrad, editor of the English Review and author of The Good Soldier, he shaped the development of literary modernism. But, as the grandson of Ford Madox Brown and son of a German music critic, he also manifested formative links with mainland European culture and the visual arts. In Ford there is the chance to explore continuity in artistic life at the turn of the last century, as well as the more commonly identified pattern of crisis in the time. The argument throughout the book is that modernism possesses more than one face. Setting Ford in his cultural and historical context, the opening chapter debates the concept of fragmentation in modernism; later chapters discuss the notion of the personal narrative, and war writing. Ford's literary technique is studied comparatively and plot summaries of his major books (The Good Soldier and Parade's End) are provided, as is a brief biography.

The First World War was the first ‘total war’. Its industrial weaponry damaged millions of men, and drove whole armies underground into dangerously unhealthy trenches. Many were killed. Others suffered from massive, life-threatening injuries; wound infections such as gas gangrene and tetanus; exposure to extremes of temperature; emotional trauma; and systemic disease. Tens of thousands of women volunteered to serve as nurses to alleviate their suffering. Some were fully-trained professionals; others had minimal preparation, and served as volunteer-nurses. Their motivations were a combination of compassion, patriotism, professional pride and a desire for engagement in the ‘great enterprise’ of war. The war led to an outpouring of war-memoirs, produced mostly by soldier-writers whose works came to be seen as a ‘literary canon’ of war-writing. But nurses had offered immediate and long-term care, life-saving expertise, and comfort to the war’s wounded, and their experiences had given them a perspective on industrial warfare which was unique. Until recently, their contributions, both to the saving of lives and to our understanding of warfare have remained largely hidden from view. ‘Nurse Writers of the Great War’ examines these nurses’ memoirs and explores the insights they offer into the nature of nursing and the impact of warfare. The book combines close biographical research with textual analysis, in order to offer an understanding of both nurses’ wartime experiences and the ways in which their lives and backgrounds contributed to the style and content of their writing.

Prisoners of the past
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This book examines the impact that nostalgia has had on the Labour Party’s political development since 1951. In contrast to existing studies that have emphasised the role played by modernity, it argues that nostalgia has defined Labour’s identity and determined the party’s trajectory over time. It outlines how Labour, at both an elite and a grassroots level, has been and remains heavily influenced by a nostalgic commitment to an era of heroic male industrial working-class struggle. This commitment has hindered policy discussion, determined the form that the modernisation process has taken and shaped internal conflict and cohesion. More broadly, Labour’s emotional attachment to the past has made it difficult for the party to adjust to the socioeconomic changes that have taken place in Britain. In short, nostalgia has frequently left the party out of touch with the modern world. In this way, this book offers an assessment of Labour’s failures to adapt to the changing nature and demands of post-war Britain.

Abstract only
John Baxendale

love–hate relationship with the only other country apart from England in which he showed any real interest. Chapter 5 moves us on chronologically into what most would consider Priestley’s finest hour: the Second World War. Writing and broadcasting with apparently boundless energy to Britain and the world, in a discourse of the nation which both contradicted and complemented Churchill’s, he strained every rhetorical sinew to call into being that radicalised People, energised by a common purpose, which alone could transform England after the war was won. In the

in Priestley’s England
Erik Svarny

In the past decade there has been a tendency to interrogate the criteria by which ‘war writing’ is defined and to extend the parameters of the term beyond an exclusive concentration on the experience of (male) military combatants to include the experience of non-combatants, whether nurses, workers or ordinary civilians, caught up in the extremity of war experience. Particularly in

in Gender and warfare in the twentieth century
Romain Fathi
,
Margaret Hutchison
,
Andrekos Varnava
, and
Michael J. K. Walsh

drove change in colonial rule as a result of the ‘end’ of the First World War. While there are a number of volumes that deal with both the British Empire and the First World War, many of these focus on the Empire during wartime, such as Ashley Jackson's The British Empire and the First World War and Santanu Das's Race, Empire and First World War Writing . 27 Other studies have focused on the social and cultural dimensions of the wartime Empire, such as Michael Walsh and Andrekos Varnava's The

in Exiting war
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‘This grave day’
Trudi Tate
and
Kate Kennedy

Frayn’s chapter looks closely at the post-war writings of C. E. Montague (1867–1928), a journalist who served in the war in his late 40s. Montague’s book Disenchantment (1922) was one of the first to make explicit the feelings of disappointment and loss which were to be expressed in so many later memoirs about the war. Montague makes use of metaphors of silence in his writings, but, Frayn argues, he refuses to find consolation in silence. For Montague, ‘silence is not an appropriate form of commemoration for a brutal and noisy war, writing in a peace which proved to

in The silent morning
Abstract only
Nicholas Taylor-Collins

, 2010 : 122). Moreover, for Kennedy, even Beckett’s post-war writing ‘is, at times not so much a work of mourning as a refusal to mourn, a haunting, or failing to forget’ ( Kennedy, 2009 : 15). In other words, Beckett’s post-war writing, while he was resident in France, is conditioned by memories of Ireland, however ‘oblique’ the references: ‘The obliquity is crucial, as is the

in Shakespeare, memory, and modern Irish literature
C. E. Montague and the First World War
Andrew Frayn

‘surely the most influential of all post-war titles’.17 v 134 v C. E. Montague and the First World War C. E. Montague Charles Edward Montague (1867–1928) was instrumental in breaking the perceived ‘silence’ about the war, and in stimulating an interest in revisionings of the war. He was a respected journalist before the war, writing primarily about current affairs and the theatre. Montague’s prose style is prolix but clear and never laboured. He was a published novelist before the war, and A Hind Let Loose (1910), his first novel, is a satire on some of the less

in The silent morning
Open Access (free)
Jonathan Atkin

apparent contradiction (which applied in some, but not all, cases). He correctly asserts that some attitudes crushed under the weight of an ‘anti-war’ label could be ‘ambivalent if not actually supportive’ towards the conflict.17 One such attitude, which Brian Bond examines, is that of Siegfried Sassoon, mentioned at the start of this Introduction. Though Bond identifies Sassoon’s high concerns with unit pride and comradeship, he simplifies Sassoon’s spectrum of response in suggesting that his anti-war writing merely refers to an ‘antagonism and mutual lack of empathy

in A war of individuals