Loving arms [electronic resource] : British women writing the Second World War / Karen Schneider.

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Loving arms [electronic resource] : British women writing the Second World War / Karen Schneider.

Personal Author
Schneider, Karen, 1948- author

Publication Date


Bibliography Note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 204-215) and index.

Introduction: Narrating War -- 1. Discerning the Plots -- 2. Inscribing An/Other Story: Katharine Burdekin, Stevie Smith, and the Move toward Rebellion -- 3. Double-Voiced Discourse: Elizabeth Bowen's Collaboration and Resistance -- 4. Re-Plotting the War(s): Virginia Woolf's Radical Legacy -- 5. A Different Story: Doris Lessing's Great Escape -- Coda: As Time Goes By.

Loving Arms examines the war-related writings of five British women whose words explore the connections among gender, war, and story-telling. While not the first study to relate the subjects of gender and war, it is the first within a growing body of criticism to focus specifically on British culture during and after World War II. How a story is narrated and by whom are matters of no small importance. As widely defined and accepted, war stories are men's stories. If we are to hear another story of war, then we must listen to the stories women tell. Many of the war stories written by women insist that war is not the condition of men but rather the condition of humanity, beginning with relations between the sexes.
For the five women whose work is examined in Loving Arms - Stevie Smith, Katharine Burdekin, Virginia Woolf, Elizabeth Bowen, and Doris Lessing - this last point was particularly relevant. Their positions as women within a patriarchal, militarist culture that was externally threatened by an overtly fascist one led to an acute ambivalence, says Schneider. Though all five women perceived the war from substantially different perspectives, each in her own way exposed and critiqued the seductive power of war and war stories, with their densely interwoven tropes of masculinity and nationalism. Yet these writers' conflicting impulses of loyalty to England and resistance to the war betray their ambivalence.

Content Type

Carrier Type
online resource

Electronic books.


English literature -- 20th century -- History and criticism.
World War, 1939-1945 -- Great Britain -- Literature and the war.
Women and literature -- Great Britain -- History -- 20th century.
English literature -- Women authors -- History and criticism.
War stories, English -- History and criticism.
World War, 1914-1918 -- Women -- Great Britain.
Electronic books.
World War (1914-1918)
World War (1939-1945)

LibraryCall NumberMaterial TypeItem Notes
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