April 11th, 2005

turtle

British writers in WWI

BRITISH CULTURE AND THE FIRST WORLD WAR, George Robb, Palgrave, 2002.

Chapter 5, Art and Literature

p. 132 "The propaganda chief, C.F.G. Masterman, gathered together most of Britain's leading writers for a meeting at Wellington House on 2 September 1914. Among the 24 men present were James Barrie, Arnold Bennett, G.K. Chesterton, Arthur Conan Doyle, John Galsworthy, Thomas Hardy, Gilbert Murray, H.G. Wells, and Israel Zangwill."

[I would pay good money to have been a fly on the wall at that meeting! Sounds like something out of a Howard Waldrop story.]

"Anthony Hope Hopkins, author of the swashbuckling PRISONER OF ZENDA, was appointed by Masterman as literary advisor to the War Propaganda Bureau." "By the end of the war, the novelists John Buchan, Arnold Bennett, John Galsworthy, and H.G. Wells were all employed by the Ministry of Information."

Voices of dissent: George Bernard Shaw and Thomas Hardy "were almost alone in their inability to work up much enthusiasm for the war. Shaw, especially, remained aloof...."

p. 133 "D.H. Lawrence also opposed the war...Married to a German, the 'red baron's' cousin Frieda Von Richthofen, Lawrence was even accused by his neighbors of being a spy in 1917."