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Britain versus Modernism

Sara Crangle

French sun proved a welcome respite from congested British horizons, a congestion meteorological (ever present) and political (from 23 June onwards). The opening sentences of Gabriel Josipovici's brilliant essay, ‘English Studies and European Culture

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Britain and "the Motorway Club

The Effect of European and North American Motorway Construction on Attitudes in Britain, 1930-1960


This article examines British attitudes to motorway construction during the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, stressing the importance of international events to Britain's motorway building policy. It shows that while national social, political and economic imperatives, movements, and contexts were clearly of primary importance in debates about motorway construction in Britain, these often emerged amidst discussions about road-building developments abroad, particularly in mainland Europe and North America. The article focuses on British reactions to the construction of the German National Socialist Party's Autobahnen in the 1930s, examining how the Autobahnen became embroiled in a spectacular propagandist performance of the modern German nation. Finally, the paper examines the attention paid to European and U.S. motorways in postwar Britain, as engineers, landscape architects, designers, and civil servants undertook research to help inform their plans and designs for British motorways.

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“What to Do with the Girls?” The Legacy of Women Farm Workers in Britain, 1919–1939

Bonnie White

1919 there were a reported 1.75 million “surplus women” in Britain, the result of British wartime losses. The fact that fewer women would have the opportunity to marry was one concern articulated by private citizens, journalists, and emigration

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The Hebrew Collection of the British Library

Past and Present

Ilana Tahan

Among the great world libraries, the British Library stands out as one of the major repositories of Hebrew manuscripts and printed books. The Hebrew collection comprises the library’s holdings of material written and printed in Hebrew characters, ranging from manuscripts copied over a millennium ago to the most recent monographs and serials. It consists of over 3,000 manuscript volumes and some 10,000 Genizah fragments, around 70,000 printed book titles and nearly 1,000 serial titles. Although Hebrew is the predominant language, other Jewish languages that utilize the Hebrew script are also represented in the collection. These include Aramaic, Judeo-Arabic, Judeo- Italian, Judeo-Persian, Judeo-Spanish or Ladino and various others.

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British Government Aid to French Émigrés and Early Humanitarian Relief during the French Revolution

Kirsty Carpenter

In late 1792, the British people and government unexpectedly found themselves facing a refugee crisis as thousands of French émigrés fled to England—crossing the Channel by any means they could, often in unseaworthy boats. The Morning Chronicle

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The End of Empire Colonial Heritage and the Politics of Memory in Britain

Susanne Grindel

Taking as its starting point the current debate over the significance of history in the National Curriculum for England, this article examines the place of the country's colonial past in its national culture of memory. In the context of debates about educational policy and the politics of memory concerning Britain's colonial heritage, the author focuses on the transmission and interpretation of this heritage via school history textbooks, which play a key role in the politics of memory. This medium offers insight into transformations of the country's colonial experience that have taken place since the end of the British Empire. School textbooks do not create and establish these transformations in isolation from other arenas of discourse about the culture of memory by reinventing the nation. Instead, they reflect, as part of the national culture of memory, the uncertainties and insecurities emerging from the end of empire and the decolonization of the British nation's historical narrative.

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Nobody, Somebody, Everybody Ballet, Girlhood, Class, Femininity and Comics in 1950s Britain

Mel Gibson

This article looks at girlhood in an historical and culturally specific context, through close textual analysis of a central narrative from a key British girls' comic of the 1950s. Girl, published by Hulton Press, predominantly addressed issues around femininity, girlhood and class in that period, often linking reading with other activities considered “appropriate” for girls. I will explore how Girl articulates gender and class and also how it encouraged the mainly middle-class readership to make ballet an important aspect of their cultural practice, popularising ballet classes across Britain. In doing so, I shall focus on the narrative, “Belle of the Ballet.” I will also look at other texts of the period, including Bunty, launched in 1958 by DC Thomson, and show how the representation of ballet changed in later comics for girls, relating this to shifting constructions of girlhood.

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Howard Jacobson's J: A Novel and the Counterfactual Imagination

Sue Vice

Howard Jacobson's J: A Novel imagines a society where, it gradually emerges, a half-forgotten mass murder has recently taken place. Although the reader is led to understand that this event occurred in Britain and that the victims of the atrocity

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The Influence of Thomas Carlyle among Economists in Britain, c. 1880–1920

Alexander Jordan

to become Knightsbridge Professor of Philosophy and thus a colleague of Marshall. Indeed, by analyzing the writings of these academic philosophers, we can appreciate the fact that many British economists were implicated in a broader culture of

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Must Labour Lose?

The 1959 election and the politics of the people

Charlotte Lydia Riley

, led by the glamorous Anthony Eden, had swept to a landslide victory in the warm afterglow of Queen Elizabeth II's coronation two years earlier. But 1959 does not hold together in my students’ analysis. The 1956 Suez Crisis should have shaken British