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  • Cited by 2
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
May 2019
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Book description

This History offers a new and comprehensive picture of 1930s British literature. The '30s have often been cast as a literary-historical anomaly, either as a 'low, dishonest decade', a doomed experiment in combining art and politics, or as a 'late modernist' afterthought to the intense period of artistic experimentation in the 1920s. By contrast, the contributors to this volume explore the contours of a 'long 1930s' by repositioning the decade and its characteristic concerns at the heart of twentieth-century literary history. This book expands the range of writers covered, moving beyond a narrow focus on towering canonical figures to draw in a more diverse cast of characters, in terms of race, gender, class, and forms of artistic expression. The book's four sections emphasize the decade's characteristic geographical and sexual identities; the new media landscapes and institutional settings its writers operated in; questions of commitment and autonomy; and British writing's international entanglements.


'… a vast compendium edited by Benjamin Kohlmann and Matthew Taunton, full of penetrating insights into a decade one had previously thought over-explored.'

D. J. Taylor Source: The Times Literary Supplement

' …essay after essay shows careful study, archival attention, and a strong editorial hand … the editors have done a fine job of presenting an interesting array of research which certainly does some fine direction pointing for future research.'

Matthew Chambers Source: The Modernist Review

‘The range, intelligence, originality and scholarship of its essays make this a valuable collection.’

Alistair Davies Source: Textual Practice

‘The volume supports and extends scholarship that recognizes the decade’s connections to as well as departures from modernism, and that seeks to more closely understand the distinctive forms and practices, and broadening networks of writers and professionals in the cultural sphere, that emerged during the thirties … This volume showcases the breadth, diversity and vitality of 1930s cultural texts and producers (stretching the purely literary to other media including music, film, and radio), and offers an invaluable resource for students and scholars.’

Naomi Milthorpe Source: The Space Between: Literature and Culture 1914–1945

'Kohlmann and Taunton have assembled a thrilling collection of essays that provide diverse and distinct entry points into the long, wide, and urgent 1930s.'

Michael McCluskey Source: Modernism/Modernity

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