British Culture and the First World War

British Culture and the First World War: Experience, Representation and Memory

by Toby Thacker

Toby Thacker is Lecturer in Modern European History at Cardiff University, UK. He is the author of Joseph Goebbels: Life and Death (2009), Music after Hitler, 1945-1955 (2007) and The End of the Third Reich: Defeat, Denazification, and Nuremberg, 1944–1946 (2006). Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Bloomsbury Academic, 2014
  • DOI:
  • ISBN:
    978-1-4411-2163-9 (hardback)

    978-1-4411-8074-2 (paperback)

    978-1-4411-3058-7 (epdf)

    978-1-4411-3437-0 (epub)

    978-1-4742-1047-8 (online)
  • Edition:
    First edition
  • Place of Publication:
    New York
  • Published Online:
British Culture and the First World War
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The First World War has been mythologized since 1918, and many paradigmatic views of it - that it was pointless, that brave soldiers were needlessly sacrificed – are deeply embedded in the British consciousness. More than in any other country, these collective British memories were influenced by the experiences and the work of writers, painters and musicians.

This book revisits the British experience of the War through the eyes and ears of a diverse group of carefully selected novelists, poets, composers and painters. It examines how they reacted to and portrayed their experiences in the trenches on the Western Front, in distant theatres of war and on the home front, in words, pictures and music that would have a profound influence on subsequent British perceptions of the war.

Rupert Brooke, Vera Brittain, Richard Nevinson, Paul Nash, Edward Elgar and T. E. Lawrence are amongst the figures discussed in this original exploration of the First World War and British collective memory. The book includes illustrations and maps to aid further study and research.