When Britain declared war on Germany in August 1914 there was no outbreak of jingoism and no immediate rush to enlist. What Anthony Fletcher finds instead, in letters, diaries and newspapers, is a people who had little comprehension of the profound changes to come.
The messages sent by British soldiers of the First World War to their loved ones back home have long been valued for what they tell us about daily life in the trenches. But their authors were often at pains not to reveal too much of the horror they endured. Anthony Fletcher considers what these documents reveal about the men’s inner lives.
Anthony Fletcher delves into the diaries of teenage girls in the Georgian and Victorian eras to explore the little-changing constraints, punishments and occasional delights of being brought up a girl in upper-class Britain before the Great War.
Anthony Fletcher uses the papers of his artistic great-aunt, who, as a young nationalist, wrote an eyewitness account of the Easter Rising, to explore her youthful patriotism and vigorous activism.