Encountering Violence: Imagined and Real

Catriona Pennell

in A Kingdom United

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199590582
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738777 | DOI:
Encountering Violence: Imagined and Real

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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Even in 1914, the opening stages of war were characterized by unprecedented violence and huge losses. This chapter reconstructs and explains the terms in which contemporaries imagined and experienced the violence of war. The first section establishes what people knew about the opening movements of war. The second addresses fear of invasion in Britain (particularly along the vulnerable east coast), reactions to atrocity stories, and the morale‐boosting myths that appeared at this time as a result of these fears. The final section examines the reactions to experiences of violence, in particular the bombardment of the north‐east coast of Britain on 16 December 1914, and civilian encounters with Belgian refugees and military casualties—the primary victims of violence.

Keywords: censorship; communication; invasion; victims; refugees; bombardment; wounded; atrocities; casualties; myths

Chapter.  13543 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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