War Culture

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War Reporters: Xenophon

Introducing Seema Syeda’s new series on battlefield scoops throughout the ages. The practice of recording the events of war is as old as war itself. The likes of Herodotus and Thucydides are well known as great ancient historians of conflict. Often placed alongside them is Greek military commander and philosopher Xenophon. However, instead of being […]

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The Military History Behind the Vagrancy Act

The 1824 Vagrancy Act – which criminalises rough sleeping – has become the subject of public debate after Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the UK’s Labour Party, committed to repeal it in the event of a Labour government. A parliamentary debate on the Act, organised by Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran, is due to take place in March. With the recent rise in homelessness across the […]

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War Requiem

Dan Keane reviews Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem, a key highlight of the London Coliseum’s 2018/2019 season. It is difficult for any artist to find an appropriate medium to convey the immensity of pain generated by war. Such is the task of Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem, first performed in 1962 to mark the consecration of the […]

Jane-Austen

Jane Austen: a wartime writer?

War and violence are the last things one would associate with that 19th-century doyenne of English literature, Jane Austen. Ambles in the countryside, flirtatious glances, frocks with lace and frills, and the relentless pursuit of wealthy bachelors are the more likely images conjured by her name.

Yet conventional interpretations of the novelist’s work lack reference to a crucial context – that of war. For most of Jane Austen’s life, Britain was involved in conflicts of varying existential significance across the globe.

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