A War Books Boom in Scotland? 1928-1932

  It is a critical commonplace that there was a decade’s literary silence following the First World War in writing about the conflict before a ‘War Books Boom’ from 1928–1932. This boom was predicated on
the international successes of Erich Maria Remarque’s Im Westen Nichts Neues (All Quiet on the Western Front, 1929) and R. C. Sherriff’s Journey’s End (1929). Recent scholarship has troubled this
narrative, recognising that cultural texts about the War appeared throughout the subsequent decade, albeit often in forms and genres that are unpopular with or unpalatable to twenty-first century
audiences.
This project analyses the supposed boom in Scotland, aiming to enumerate its extent in terms of the number of publications, the success of books about the First World War in terms of sales and esteem, and whether it takes the same shape as in England and the rest of the UK.
This is part of a much larger project which builds on the momentum in First World War studies coming from commemorative activity during the 2014–2018 centenary, and looks towards the centenary of
the Boom. The whole project seeks to establish:
- Was there a War Books Boom beginning in the late 1920s? If not, why has it been perceived?
- Was there a boom in terms of numbers of books published? Sales? Esteem? A particular genre or
form?
- Were these phenomena felt equally and represented similarly across the United Kingdom?
- What caused the end of the boom, if there was one?

  • Start Date:

    1 April 2020

  • End Date:

    12 May 2021

  • Activity Type:

    Externally Funded Research

  • Funder:

    Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland

  • Value:

    £11641

Project Team