New title from Brill: Writings of Persuasion and Dissonance in the Great War
Volume Editors: David Owen & Maria Cristina Pividori
The First World war represented an “Introduction to the 20th Century.” Everything that happened subsequently grew out of this event—a monumental episode of collective self-destruction. We are still struggling to come to terms with this war.

This exciting, new title from BRILL—a collection of essays examining the literary responses to the First World War—reflects the confrontation of two different ways of portraying the conflict. One of these reflects 19th century ideals of war as a noble sacrifice; the other focuses on the hopeless, brutal reality of the trenches.
For information on how to order, please click here.
Writings of Persuasion and Dissonance in the Great War

Volume Editor: David Owen, Maria Cristina Pividori

ISBN13: 9789004314917
Publication Date: March 2016
Copyright Year: 2016
Format: Hardback
Publication Type: Book
Pages, Illustr.: Approx. 210 pp.
Imprint: Brill | Rodopi
Language: English

For information on how to order, click here.

Through chapters dedicated to specific writers and texts, Writings of Persuasion and Dissonance in the Great War is a collection of essays examining literary responses to the Great War, particularly the confrontation of two distinct languages.

One of these reflects nineteenth-century ideals of war as a noble sacrifice; the other portrays the hopeless, brutal reality of the trenches.

The ultimate aim of this volume is to convey and reinforce the notion that no explicit literary language can ever be regarded as the definitive language of the Great War, nor can it ever hope to represent this conflict in its entirety. The collection also uncovers how memory constantly develops, triggering distinct and even contradictory responses from those involved in the complex process of remembering.

Edited by David Owen, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, and Cristina Pividori, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain

Contributors: Donna Coates, Brian Dillon, Monique Dumontet, Dorothea Flothow, Elizabeth Galway, Laurie Kaplan, Sara Martín Alegre, Silvia Mergenthal, Andrew Monnickendam, David Owen, Andrew Palmer, Bill Phillips, Cristina Pividori, Esther Pujolrás-Noguer, Richard Smith

Table of contents

  • Introduction
  • Part One: Reasserting Tradition: The Solace of the Familiar
    • 1.1 Rudyard Kipling’s War, Freemasonry and Misogyny (Bill Phillips)
    • 1.2 Conscripting Gentle Jane: Getting the Austen Treatment in the Great War (David Owen)
  • Part Two: Quiet Desperation: Returning Home to Another War
    • 2.1 No Peace in Silence: The Return of the Traumatised Great War Soldier in Francis Itani’s Tell (Donna Coates)
    • 2.2 When the War Was Over: The Return of the War Nurse (Laurie Kaplan)
  • Part Three: The Great War in Words: Telling the Untellable
    • 3.1 The Trope of War in Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s Sunset Song (Andrew Monnickendam)
    • 3.2 Vivid Immediacy and Minimal Reflection in Patrick MacGill’s First World War Trilogy (Brian Dillon)
    • 3.3 Impressions from the Front: The Crisis of the Witness in Ford Madox Ford’s Parade’s End (Cristina Pividori)
  • Part Four: Between Happy Warrior and Bitter Pacifist
    • 4.1 To a Reader 100 Years Hence: Continuity in Canadian Great War Narratives (Monique Dumontet)
    • 4.2 ‘Friend with the Musing Eye’: Persuasion and Dissonance in ‘Call to Arms’ Poems of the First World War (Andrew Palmer)
  • Part Five: The Subaltern Speaks
    • 5.1 The Scramble for Home: The First World War in the East African Imagination (Esther Pujolràs-Noguer)
    • 5.2 Post-War Redemption in the Jamaican Literary Imagination (Richard Smith)
  • Part Six: The Soldier and the Other
    • 6.1 Non-Combatants and Others: H.G. Wells’ Mr Britling Sees It Through (Silvia Mergenthal)
    • 6.2 The Loving Soldier: Vindicating Men’s Friendship in Ernest Raymond’s Tell England: A Study in a Generation (1922) and Wilfrid Ewart’s The Way of Revelation (1921) (Sara Martín)
  • Part Seven: The Children’s War
    • 7.1 Coming to Terms with the Great War: War, Propaganda and the German Enemy in British Children’s Novels, 1900 to 1916 (Dorothea Flothow)
    • 7.2 What Shall We Tell the Children? Narratives of War in First World War Children’s Literature (Elizabeth A. Galway)
  • Note on Authors
  • Index

Biographical note

David Owen, Ph.D, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, is a lecturer in English at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. He has published principally on eighteenth-century English novelistic fiction, and, in this ambit, has edited early works by Jane Austen and Anna Maria Porter.

Cristina Pividori, Ph.D, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, is a lecturer in English at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya. She has published articles on the First World War, gender, trauma and memory.


This collection of essays on Great War literature will interest those focussing on this topic. However, it will also appeal to general readers interested in the literature of this conflict.