The War Books Boom is a series of projects funded by various institutions including Edinburgh Napier. Discover how this research project is helping to uncover new findings about the books from this allusive period (1928-30)

Project Overview

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In studies of interwar First World War literature, the fact that there was a ‘War Books Boom’ from approximately 1928-30 has long been taken as a given.  However, there have been no attempts, quantitative or qualitative, to assess the nature and extent of this phenomenon.  This series of projects begins that work. To date (August 2022) there have been two substantial funded projects.

The first project, funded by an Edinburgh Napier University Internal Research competition, enabled the hiring of a research assistant, Dr Fiona Houston, to examine and record mentions of war books in contemporary publishers’ magazines. 

With additional subsequent work drawing on published bibliographies and other sources, this has resulted in the compilation of a nearly 1500-book database of interwar books about or connected to the war.  This will be publicly available in the publication of an article called: First World War Studies.

The second project, funded by the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland, asked ‘Was there a Scottish War Books Boom?’  Research assistants Louise Bell and Dr James Benstead worked to uncover Scottish books from and adding to the existing dataset, and which were reviewed in Scottish periodicals.  An article drawing on this work is in progress.

Funding from the Centre for Literature and Writing paid for a social media intern, Beth Campbell, who selected a number of less-familiar works about which to write brief accounts, in blogs and on Twitter.

Future funding plans will develop a monograph project and look to imagine other individual and collaborative ways of using the extensive dataset which has been generated.

Follow us on Twitter, where you can access all the material produced by Beth Campbell (including our blogs). 

Additionally, you can view an early overview article at the Modernist Review, ‘Was there a War Books Boom?’.

Centre for Arts, Media & Culture