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For King and Country
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Book description

This is a ground-breaking history of the British monarchy in the First World War and of the social and cultural functions of monarchism in the British war effort. Heather Jones examines how the conflict changed British cultural attitudes to the monarchy, arguing that the conflict ultimately helped to consolidate the crown's sacralised status. She looks at how the monarchy engaged with war recruitment, bereavement, gender norms, as well as at its political and military powers and its relationship with Ireland and the empire. She considers the role that monarchism played in military culture and examines royal visits to the front, as well as the monarchy's role in home front morale and in interwar war commemoration. Her findings suggest that the rise of republicanism in wartime Britain has been overestimated and that war commemoration was central to the monarchy's revered interwar status up to the abdication crisis.

Reviews

‘Heather Jones's engaging and insightful book makes a persuasive argument about the importance of the First World War in the British monarchy's evolving role and image. Through skilful analysis of an impressively broad range of archival sources, Jones shows how archaic associations of the Crown with the concepts of honour, duty, religion and service took on a new resonance during four years of disruptive and destructive conflict.'

Alison Fell - author of Women as Veterans in Britain and France after the First World War

‘Heather Jones shows how the British monarchy democratised itself during the First World War by placing its traditional and sacred functions at the service of the nation and empire. In doing so, she pioneers a new kind of cultural and political history. A truly outstanding book.'

John Horne - editor of A Companion to World War I

'This book fills a very large gap. It is thoroughly researched and provides a comprehensive analysis of the British monarchy during the First World War. It also ranges widely, shedding new light on crucial aspects of the British (and Irish) experience between 1914 and 1918.'

David Stevenson - author of 1917: War, Peace, and Revolution

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