Some links to follow, as I try to distract myself briefly from funding applications, the aftermath of clearing, and the temptations of eating even more biscuits.
Robert Fisk’s article from the Independent about the Armenian Genocide (sadly without the images from the paper edition). Nothing too new for those who already know something about it, but some interesting comments about remembrance.
For the next week you can listen again to Radio 4’s Book at Bedtime, Virginia Nicholson’s Singled Out,about the ‘generation’ of women who never married because all the young men had been killed in the First World War. Although quite why you’d want to, unless you just want a good ahistoric cry, I’m not sure. The odd interesting story, but presented totally without critical analysis of the sources, statistical evidence, or counter-examples. Shockingly, Vera Brittain gets used (quel surprise) as an example of those who lost. Oh, except she did marry. Bah, now my radio has a great big dent in it from where I threw it across the room. A great case of how a romantic version of history can get on the radio when more accurate appraisals can’t.
Osprey publishing starts up its own blog and gets its staff to identify their favourite tank. Not quite sure whether I think that’s nicely tongue in cheek or embracing the stereotype a bit too eagerly. Oh all, right. Probably this one, because I’d always back the underdog.
Kevin Levin posts on the use of titles to attract readers. My own personal favourite, via the footnotes to Adam Tooze’s Wages of Destruction – W. Pieper, ed, Nazis on Speed: Drogen im 3. Reich (Loherbach, nd.). Alan Coren once supposedly delivered a manuscript to a publisher only to be told that it wouldn’t sell – the only books that sold were those that featured golf, cats or Nazis. His next book looked like this.
It’s been said before – what we need to get people to change their ideas about the First World War is a series of books featuring a dashing romantic hero, who shows the reader just how well British infantry tactics developed over the course of the conflict and who knows that he’s actually fighting a just war. The ‘Anti-Blackadder’ if you will. The sort of man who isn’t afraid to wear a dolman jacket and tight trousers. The sort of man who women want and men want to be. The sort of man who has a fanbase that demands the institution of a national day in honour of a fictional character. Time to start writing that novel, Dr Todman.