In his foreword Tony Blair suggests that this book 'offers an overview of the important themes in the WEA's history and relates the past to the present and future of the association.' This is indeed true. The book acknowledges the association's successes, but is critical of its failures; its tone is at times joyful and at others poignant.
Alcohol is one aspect of twentieth-century British popular culture that has received comparatively little attention.
The historical study of love, sexuality and the ‘private sphere’ in modern Britain is now well established.
The tenacity of the Women’s Voluntary Services (WVS: they were awarded ‘Royal’ status in 1966) in maintaining their unique position in the voluntary sector must, in no small degree, be due to the powerful personality of its founder, the redoubtable Stella Charnaud, Lady Reading.
In a memorandum for the Committee of Imperial Defence dated 10 July 1920 Harold Nicolson, whose family connection with these matters dated back to the time when his father Lord Carnock entered the Foreign Office, namely 1870, wrote:
For a very long time, writers have sneered at the suburbs. They have looked down on suburbanites for being materialistic, unimaginative, and boring. They have complained about the social and physical monotony of the suburban scene while deploring its individualism and lack of community.
In December 2002, 400 people assembled at the Institute of Historical Research in London to attend a conference called ‘History and the media’. Its purpose was to investigate the recent and phenomenal rise of popular history, and as such it drew delegates not only from colleges, libraries and museums, but also from television studios, newsdesks and film production companies.
Trauma has become a burning topic in Western cultures of late. Traumatic events and debates over how they are remembered by individuals and memorialised by cultures are important for lots of different constituencies.
It is curious that it should have taken imperial proconsul Lord Cromer (1841–1917, Evelyn Baring until 1892) nearly a century to find a scholarly biographer worthy of his centrality to British, imperial and Egyptian history in the Victorian-Edwardian age.
Peter Hart’s ten chapters explore the IRA in what is defined by him as the Irish Revolution of 1916–23. All essays save two have been published over the last decade as book chapters or articles in leading academic journals. All deserve to be revisited. Thematically organised, Hart examines the structure of revolutionary violence in Irish and wider British contexts.