A history podcast discussing various cultural genres which reference the First World War, including detective fiction, Star Wars and death metal music, and ask why the First World War has particular popular cultural relevance.
Could you play a board game about the First World War, during the First World War?
In this episode Jessica, Chris and Angus talk to Holly Nielsen (PhD student at Royal Holloway, London) about board games during the First World War. As a result we learn about games converted into wartime themes, the benefits of the war to the British toy industry, the dangers of channelling the dead in a superstitious household, and what's leapt to the top of Jessica's 'wish list'.
The Christmas Truce of 1914
How do you portray a moment of peace during the First World War when it's not always clear what actually happened?
In our Christmas Special, Angus, Chris and Jessica speak to historian Mark Connelly (University of Kent) about the Christmas Truce of 1914. Along the way we discuss Paul McCartney, the difficulty of playing football in No Man's Land, British soldiers as 9-to-5 workers, and a Christmas Truce with the coronavirus.
'Blasted Things' with Lesley Glaister
How do you write a novel about the First World War without resorting to cliché?
This month, Angus, Chris and Jessica speak to novelist Lesley Glaister about her new book, Blasted Things, set in the aftermath of the war. Along the way we discuss family history, what it feels like to hold historical documents, the medico-legal definition of PTSD and how to capture the register of a place and time effectively.
08 - Dreamers of the Day: TE Lawrence
How does popular culture see Lawrence of Arabia?
This month Angus, Chris and Jessica speak to cartoonist Ned Barnett about his work on T. E. Lawrence, including both his research travelogue, Dreamers of the Day, and his on-going three volume graphic biography of the famous polymath. Along the way we discuss Lawrence as a celebrity, the challenges of cartooning, the comparative heights of Lawrence and Peter O’Toole and the textile holdings of the National Army Museum.
Ned Barnett, Dreamers of the Day (2019)
Michael Korda, Hero: The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia (2011)
Scott Anderson, Lawrence in Arabia: Deceit, Imperial Folly, and the Making of the Modern Middle East (2013)
Lawrence of Arabia (1962), dir. David Lean
World War I Museum (Kansas City, Missouri)
National Army Museum (London)
Imperial War Museums (London)
Ashmolean Museum (Oxford)
Holly Furneaux, Military Men of Feeling: Emotion, Touch and Masculinity in the Crimean War (2016)
Lucy Knisley, The Age of License (2014)
Museum of History of Science (Oxford)
With Allenby in Palestine and Lawrence in Arabia (1919), dir. Lowell Thomas
Graham Dawson, Soldier Heroes: British Empire, Adventure and the Imagining of Masculinities (1994)
Louis Halewood, Adam Luptak and Hanna Smyth, War Time: First World War Perspectives on Temporality (2019)
TE. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom (1922)
Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries
What happens when a Sunday night crime caper takes the history of the First World War seriously?
In this episode Jessica, Chris and Angus talk about the cult Australian television series Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. We discuss class in interwar Australia, what it meant to be a conscientious objector and why it might be a mistake to admit to bribery in front of a policeman in the third of our series on representations of the First World War in television crime dramas.
Did the First World War inspire organised crime in inter-war Britain?
In this episode we talk to Emma Hanna (University of Kent) about the British crime-drama series Peaky Blinders and how the war service of the main characters may have further brutalised the gangsters as they negotiate the harsh realities of postwar life. Along the way we discuss the difference in experience between sappers and infantry, different manifestations of 'shellshock', and whether the series is a love letter to Birmingham.