The centenary begins…

This is just a note to welcome the Oxford World War One centenary website, which is building up a collection of resources (for teachers and librarians mostly, I think) about the War.

Contributors include Dan Todman and Catriona Pennell, whose new book A Kingdom United: Popular Responses to the Outbreak of the First World War in Britain and Ireland looks well worth reading.

Welcome also to Simon Turner’s new Blog, Battle Lines, about war and literature. Looks promising.



  1. Posted June 8, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    A review of Catriona Pennell’s book in the TLS definitely makes it sound like required reading:
    ‘Concluding that the monolithic label of “war enthusiasm” is wholly inadequate to describe popular opinion in the autumn of 1914, Pennell demolishes a number of myths: that Kitchener’s volunteers were carried off in a surge of unthinking and naive jingoism; that the gulf between “home” and “Front” was virtually unbridgeable; that most people subscribed to a “short war” illusion, believing that the conflict would be “over by Christmas”; and that there was a uniquely poor response to the war in nationalist Ireland.’

    • michaelbully
      Posted October 27, 2012 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

      I will have to look out for this book, thank you for the information.
      With regard to ‘War Enthusiasm’ – Niall Fergusson has already challenged this in his work ‘The Pity Of War’. Personally I think that there was a large section of the population who felt that it was their duty to support the War, rather than were enthusiastic. There may well have been class and regional differences in responding to the War within Britain.
      ‘Over By Christmas’ I have always thought was exagerated.
      In relation to nationalist Ireland, I have never heard it claimed that there was a poor response so surprise that this asumption is circulating.

  2. Posted October 24, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    Hi George

    Thank you for the plug on I’ve been meaning to contact you for a while – would you like to contribute to the blog? As you site is under creative commons (and the same license that we use) – it fits our open education agenda – you could even cross post items.

    Contact me!

    Best, Kate Lindsay

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