I heard a good talk at Sheffield Hallam yesterday, by Catherine Clay of Nottingham Trent University, on Eleanor Farjeon and the poems she wrote (as ‘Chimaera’) for the feminist weekly Time and Tide in the twenties. One thing I learned was that Farjeon also wrote verse for left-wing papers like the Herald, under the name […]
Category Archives: History
I’m currently nearly half way through Frank Furedi’s new book, First World War – Still no End in Sight, I’m partly impressed by it, and partly annoyed. It’s a wide-ranging study of how the War disoriented Europe, and indeed the world, in ways that are still having repercussions. Parts are very good, such as the […]
Here’s a very useful resource that I hadn’t come across before. It’s an archive of Welsh newspapers published between 1804 and 1919, which has recently been enlarged by the addition of 27 new publications. I’ve taken a look through some papers of the War years, to see indications of feelings of dissent. I put the […]
In 1915, the year of Second Ypres and Loos, there were fewer British soldiers killed on the battlefields than there were British children who died in infancy. This resonant statistic is at the heart of Trudi Tate’s essay on Truby King and postwar childcare in the recent essay collection The Silent Morning. Truby King was […]
In a Guardian interview puffing his forthcoming TV series on the Great War, Jeremy Paxman makes some comments on the Gove/Evens disagreement, and makes this interesting point: Paxman added: “To me the great mystery of the war, and I still can’t answer this properly, was why people kept faith with this enterprise. I was really […]
Here’s a snippet from my current reading, The Long Shadow by David Reynolds: The total cost of the war cemeteries in Belgium and northen France (almost a thousand of them) was £8.15 million. This was roughly double the cost of a single day’s shelling in the latter stages of the War.
Of all the contributions to the Gove-inspired debate about the First World war, perhaps the funniest is Seumas Milne’s rant in the Guardian, which furiously attacks Michael Gove’s notion that the Britain of 1914 was a country worth fighting for. The idea that Britain and its allies were defending liberal democracy, let alone international law […]
Michael Gove writes in an interesting Daily Mail article: Our understanding of the war has been overlaid by misunderstandings, and misrepresentations which reflect an, at best, ambiguous attitude to this country and, at worst, an unhappy compulsion on the part of some to denigrate virtues such as patriotism, honour and courage. I’d strongly agree with […]
After spending a while with Henry Williamson, I’ve been looking at another Great War writer rewriting his history – Siegfried Sassoon. Siegfried’s Journey is an unsatisfactory book. Written in 1945, after the collapse of his marriage, and written to make money, it is an attempt to make sense of the crucial years 1916-1922, though more […]
Click here to see some 1918 German film of a field hospital for dogs. A reminder of just how many dogs there were on the Western Front.