Death in War and Peace: A History of Loss and Grief in England, 1914-1970

Paperback | September 27, 2012

byPat Jalland

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Death in War and Peace is the first detailed historical study of the experience of death, grief, and mourning in England in the fifty years after 1914. In it Professor Jalland explores the complex shift from a culture where death was accepted and grief was openly expressed before 1914, to oneof avoidance and silence by the 1940s and thereafter. The two world wars had a profound and cumulative impact on the prolonged process of change in attitudes to death in England. The inter-war generation grew up in a bleak atmosphere of mass mourning for the dead soldiers of the Great War, and the Second World War created an even deeper break with thepast as a pervasive model of silence about death and suppressed grieving became entrenched in the nation's psyche. Stories drawn from letters and diaries show us how death and loss were experienced by individuals and families in England from 1914; and how the attitudes, responses, and rituals of death and grieving varied with gender, religion, class, and region. The growing medicalization and hospitalization ofdeath from the 1950s further reinforced the growing culture of silence about death, as it moved from the care of the family to that of hospitals, doctors, and undertakers. These silences about death still linger today, despite a further cultural shift since the 1970s towards greater emotional expressiveness. This fascinating study of death and bereavement helps us to understand the present as well as the past.

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Death in War and Peace is the first detailed historical study of the experience of death, grief, and mourning in England in the fifty years after 1914. In it Professor Jalland explores the complex shift from a culture where death was accepted and grief was openly expressed before 1914, to oneof avoidance and silence by the 1940s and th...

Pat Jalland has been a Professor of History at the Australian National University since 1997. She has published in British women's history, Anglo-Irish history, and the history of death and bereavement in Australia and Britain. Her eight books include The Liberals and Ireland (1980); Women, Marriage, and Politics (1986), winner of the...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.68 inPublished:September 27, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199651884

ISBN - 13:9780199651887

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Table of Contents

IntroductionPart I: War and Peace 1914-19391. Death, the Great War and the influenza pandemic2. Violet Cecil and communities in mourning3. The Bickersteths' sacred pilgrimages to the Great War Cemeteries, 1919-19314. Death, disasters and rituals among the northern working classes, 1919-395. Sir Sydney Cockerell: cremation and the modern way of death in EnglandPart II: The Second World War6. The people's war: Death in the blitz7. Missing airmen and families in anguish: 'There could be no mourning'8. Experiences of wartime griefPart III: A changing culture of death and loss since 19459. Hidden death: Medicine and care of the dying, 1945 to 197010. Widowhood, grief and old age 1945-196311. Gorer's map of death: Declining rituals and prolonged sorrow, 196312. Observing grief: C.S. Lewis and the psychiatrists13. Epilogue: Change and continuity since the 1970s

Editorial Reviews

"Scholarly enterprise and historical flair have enabled Professor Jalland to rise above the limitations of the material... Death in War and Peace provides us with fresh, imaginative perspectives and compelling detail." --Paul Addison, Times Literary Supplement