SOMOGYI, ASHLEY,CLARA,GABRIELLE (2018) Young Knights of the Empire: The Impact of Chivalry on Literature and Propaganda of the First World War. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.
The re-emergence of chivalry in the mid-eighteenth century fundamentally altered Britain’s perception of etiquette, duty, masculinity and the ideology surrounding war. This thesis demonstrates the importance and influence of chivalry’s persistence before, during and after World War One. By examining the formative role of chivalry in education and literature in the nineteenth century, we see how it becomes encoded in British culture, contributing not simply to a romanticised idea of war, but becoming an inextricable part of British identity. While many scholars would argue against the continued use or popularity of chivalry during WWI, condemning its role in glamourising conflict, this work demonstrates how organisations such as the War Propaganda Bureau, the Boy Scouts and the public school system strove to encourage the citizens of war-time Britain to adopt the central tenets of chivalry (honour, bravery and self- sacrifice), declaring them crucial to morale and victory. This work evidences how chivalry did not simply survive WWI but by altering the vocabulary and images associated with it, adapted to the demands of Britain’s wartime and post-war environment. Through critical analysis of literature ranging from poetry and plays to pamphlets and meeting minutes, this thesis demonstrates how the central tenets of chivalry are not only ingrained in the British response to war, but helped to provide moral justification of violence, created brotherhood between soldiers, engendered solidarity on the Home Front, and provided an ethical framework through which combatants and non-combatants could understand the need for war. World War One did not destroy chivalry; rather it was refashioned to make a historicizing connection to a legacy of heroism which continues in modern British nationalism, duty and morality.
|Item Type:||Thesis (Doctoral)|
|Award:||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Keywords:||Word War One; poetry; chivalry; disillusionment; propaganda; gentleman; Victorian literature|
|Faculty and Department:||Faculty of Arts and Humanities > English Studies, Department of|
|Copyright:||Copyright of this thesis is held by the author|
|Deposited On:||18 May 2018 12:11|