Fighting Forces, Writing Women: Identity and Ideology in the First World War

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Taylor & Francis, 1994 - Literary Criticism - 246 pages
Fighting Forcesoffers an in-depth feminist reading of the traumatic nature of women's experience during the First World War and illuminates the complex ideological structures within which women sought an identity during the war. In this period of both idealism and devastation, women often found themselves wanting to join their male compatriots in the trenches. Instead, they gained temporary powers of citizenship, privileges which were again exclusive to men after the Armistice. Fighting Forcesranges over the works of several women writers of the period: from Jeannie Maitland, author ofWoman's Own, to Virginia Woolf. Unpublished memoirs, diaries and stories by both famous and little-known writers provide a fascinating spectrum of female responses to the war. Propaganda and institutional directives inspire the work of Vera Brittain; pacifist rhetoric emerges in the writings of Rose Maculay, while Virginia Woolf contests the propagandist discourse ofher male contemporaries.
 

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Contents

INTRODUCTION
1
1 NUNS AND LOVERS
7
2 COUNTRY AND TOWN AGRICULTURE AND MUNITIONS
47
3 WOMEN AT HOME
89
4 REACTIONARY OR REVOLUTIONARY?
131
5 WOOLF WAR AND WRITING
169
CONCLUSION
217
NOTES
219
BIBLIOGRAPHY
231
INDEX
243
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Nottingham Trent University

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