Modernist texts and writings of protest have until now received most of the critical attention of literary scholars of the First World War. Popular literature with its penchant for predictable storylines, melodramatic prose, and patriotic rhetoric has been much-maligned or at the very least ignored. Boys in Khaki, Girls in Print redresses the balance. It turns the spotlight on the novels and memoirs of women writersmany of whom are now virtually forgottenthat appealed to a British reading public hungry for amusement, news, and above all, encouragement in the face of uncertainty and grief. The writers of 1914-18 had powerful models for interpreting their war, as a consideration of texts from the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902 shows. They were also bolstered by wartime publishing practices that reinforced the sense that their books, whether fiction or non-fiction, were not simply "light" entertainment but powerful agents of propaganda. Generously illustrated, Boys in Khaki, Girls in Print is a scholarly yet accessible illumination of a hitherto untapped resource of women's writing and is an important new contribution to the study of the literature of the Great War.
About the Author
Dr Jane Potter is Lecturer in Publishing at Oxford Brookes University and Assistant to the Archivist at Wolfson College, Oxford.
Table of Contents
1. Before the lamps went out: The social and literary background of the Great War
2. 'Is your best boy wearing khaki?': Publishing and propaganda
3. 'Putting things in their right places': The War in romance novels
4. 'I alone am left to tell the tale': Memoirs by women on active service
Appendix 1: Items on a Boer War theme in The Girl's Own Paper, The Girl's Realm, and The Lady's Realm, 1899-1902
Appendix 2: Publishers and the number of pamphlets or books published for Wellington House, 1914-18
Appendix 3: Biographies of main authors