A literary intervention: writing alcohol in British literature 1915–1930

Haslam, Sara (2013). A literary intervention: writing alcohol in British literature 1915–1930. First World War Studies, 4(2) pp. 219–239.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/19475020.2013.828636

Abstract

This article provides a contextualized analysis of the representation of alcohol in British war literature published between 1915 and 1930. It examines the domestic debates surrounding alcohol pre-war, as well as the controversial history of the rum ration, before providing a taxonomy of alcohol's representation in a range of literature in which it features significantly in both its official and unofficial forms. The literature consulted includes examples of the early popular wave of fiction, and the later wave of disillusionment literature, as it came to be known. Following this thematic examination of the representation of alcohol in war texts, the concluding discussion argues that the patterns in the representation of alcohol across this 15-year period can themselves be interpreted contextually, economically and politically, as a progressive intervention in a wider debate.

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