Category Archives: academic

Le Rocambole

Today’s post brought something I’d been eagerly looking forward to – Le Rocambole for Summer-Autumn 2015. Le Rocambole is the Bulletin of Les Amis du Roman Populaire, whose conference in Amiens I attended last year, and this issue of the journal contains the papers delivered at the conference, including my own: Sapper : du réalisme au […]

Being Young During World War One

A conference on the subject of growing up during the Great War will be held at Manchester Metropolitan University on November 6th to 7th this year. I’m very happy about this because I got the email yesterday to say that they are going to let me give my paper on the Magnet comics during the […]

Review: An Arnold Bennett Companion

Declaration of interest: I’m not exactly unbiased, since this collection includes my own essay: ‘Against Prussianism’: Bennett and the Great War’. Arnold Bennett is a great novelist who remains seriously under-celebrated. Even to many students of English Literature he is known only as Virginia Woolf’s whipping boy. Cultivated readers who can talk sensibly The Great […]

T. S. Eliot and Haig’s funeral

On 7 February, 1928, T. S. Eliot wrote a letter to his mother, describing Douglas Haig’s funeral procession, on its way to Westminster Abbey: The funeral started at the Scotch church, which was flying the Scotch flag at half-mast [….] Well then there were the Scotch pipers of the Guards, and they started the ‘Lament […]

This Week’s Conferences

On Thursday I shall be on the train to London,  before the Marginalised Mainstream conference on Friday and Saturday (where I shall be speaking about ‘Helen Zenna Smith, and the Disguises of Evadne Price’). If I had not been heading Londonwards, I’d have been very interested in this conference in Cambridge. It’s a subject I’d […]

A Sheffield Wednesday

We had a good afternoon yesterday at Sheffield Hallam, talking about fiction of the Great War as part of the Off the Shelf festival. I kicked off by talking about wartime fiction generally, and then explaining why I rated Patrick MacGill’s books, and The Red Horizon especially. (It’s because nobody else, except Frederic Manning, gives […]

‘Off the Shelf’ at Sheffield

The Sheffield Libraries Off the Shelf festival runs from 26th September to 27th October. (The programme can be found here.) To mark the centenary year, there are several sessions related to the First World War, including one on Wednesday 22nd October, when Professor Chris Hopkins, Dr Erica Brown and myself will be talking about the […]

Siegfried Sassoon Fellowship AGM

This year’s AGM will be on Saturday October 18th, at The Lamb, Lamb’s Conduit Street, London. I shall be giving a talk with the title: ‘ “Too terribly beastly and nasty and corpsey”: How novelists of the nineteen-twenties represented war poets.’ This will be a longer version of the paper I gave at the Oxford […]

Fun with Ngrams

One of the pleasures of the British Poetry of the First World War conference (and the pleasures were many – I’ll be mentioning several over the next week or so) was Jay Winter’s talk on ‘Glory’. He traced the decline of the word in English by use of  Google Ngrams. This is a neat bit […]

The Fashion in War Poetry

I’m greatly looking forward to the British Poetry of the First World War conference at Oxford this weekend, and have been studying the programme with interest. So many panels, and hard choices to be made… I found myself counting the poets named in the various paper titles, seeing which poets were most academically  popular in […]

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