Literature of the 1940s: War, Postwar and 'Peace'

Research output: Book/ReportBook

12 Citations (Scopus)


An innovative study of the literary response to the traumas and transformations of the 1940s that undoes the customary division of the decade into the Second World War and after. Instead, the book focuses on the thematic preoccupations that emerged from writers' immersion in and resistance to the conflict. Through seven chapters - Documenting, Desiring, Killing, Escaping, Grieving, Adjusting and Atomising - the book sets middlebrow and popular writers alongside residual modernists and new voices to reconstruct the literary landscape of the period. Detailed case studies of fiction, drama and poetry provide fresh critical perspectives on writers as diverse as Elizabeth Bowen, Agatha Christie, Georgette Heyer, Graham Greene, Terence Rattigan, Dylan Thomas and Evelyn Waugh. To read the literature of the 1940s is to see historical events from a new perspective and to understand the importance of a postwar sensibility that emerged long before hostilities ceased, and continued to signify into the 1950s and beyond.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherEdinburgh University Press
Number of pages300
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-7486-836-1
ISBN (Print)978-0-7486-2744-8
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Publication series

NameThe Edinburgh History of Twentieth-Century Literature in Britain


Dive into the research topics of 'Literature of the 1940s: War, Postwar and 'Peace''. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this