Reading London in Wartime: Blitz, the People and Propaganda in 1940s Literature, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Reading London in Wartime

Blitz, the People and Propaganda in 1940s Literature, 1st Edition

By William Cederwell


220 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9780367890568
pub: 2020-03-31
SAVE ~$9.59
Available for pre-order. Item will ship after 31st March 2020
Hardback: 9780815375784
pub: 2017-11-13
SAVE ~$31.00
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781351239066
pub: 2017-11-06
from $27.48

FREE Standard Shipping!


Reading London in Wartime: Blitz, the People and Propaganda in 1940s Literature presents an expansive variety of writers and genres, including non-fiction and film approaches, to build a comprehensive social picture of the atmosphere during wartime London. From blitz and austerity to the nagging insistency of propaganda, this volume examines the representation of London in wartime and early post-war literature through each writer’s unique perspective on the pressures of 1940s city life.

Exploring the use of London imagery, this book considers how literature redirects attention to individual, subjective experience at a time of enforced co-operation, uniformity and community. Unlike government information films and news broadcasts, which often used London to prop up prevailing clichés and stereotypes, and encouraged patriotic support for the war, literature had the freedom to express more recalcitrant truths. London writing of the 1940s was not a literature of opposition or dissent, but in offering more nuanced depictions of the period, it was a counterweight to propaganda and the general war temperament. In writing, the city becomes a more complex place, no longer the easy symbol of defiance and stoicism, of the shared sacrifice of ration book and war work.

Table of Contents


About the Author

William Cederwell completed his Ph.D. in English Literature at University College London in 2013. The thesis, which examines wartime London writing, forms the basis of this book. His undergraduate degree, a first-class MA Honours in English Literature, was awarded by the University of Edinburgh in 1994. He has spent several years working in a variety of roles in the media and publishing industry.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings: