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One Hundred Years Ago – The World War I Christmas Truce

Christmas Truce 1914, as seen by the Illustrated London News.

The Illustrated London News’s illustration of the Christmas Truce: “British and German Soldiers Arm-in-Arm Exchanging Headgear: A Christmas Truce between Opposing Trenches”

In December 1914 conditions for soldiers on both sides of No Man’s Land in Flanders were dreadful – water logged trenches, mud, cold rain, and dead bodies in various states of decomposition lying unburied in the land between the lines. Out of this misery came the Christmas Truce, a truce that evolved from the lower ranks upward. Earlier, Pope Benedict XV had asked for a Christmas cease-fire, but both sides rejected his request.

Both the German and English troops had received Christmas packages, some from families and friends and others, official gifts from their governments. The English soldiers received “Princess Mary boxes”: metal boxes engraved with an outline of the princess, daughter of King George V. These gift containers were filled with butterscotch and chocolate, tobacco (cigarettes for the soldiers and cigars for officers), a picture of Princess Mary and a greeting from King George V, “May God protect you and bring you safely home.” Germans received their gifts from Kaiser Wilhelm II. Each soldier received a meerschaum pipe and their officers received cigars. The German troops were also given small Christmas pine trees with candles and decorations. And by Christmas Eve the rain had stopped and skies were clear.

Thus a sense of goodwill had spread through the trenches by Christmas Eve (and Weintraub, p. 3, explains, “… the ordinary British soldier had no strong feelings about fighting the Germans …”); in one area Germans sent a chocolate cake to the nearby English soldiers, accompanied by a request for a truce so that the Germans could celebrate their captain’s birthday. They planned a concert for that evening and would place candle-lighted trees on the parapets of their trenches. The English accepted the German proposal and offered tobacco as a gift. At 7:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve the Germans began to sing; both sides applauded each song and the English were invited to join the Germans in singing.

On Christmas Eve at Lille the British Royal Flying Corps flew over the German airfield and dropped a well-padded Christmas pudding. The following day, a German pilot bombed the English with a bottle of rum.

On Christmas day, soldiers exchanged newspapers, cigars and cigarettes; held joint religious services in No Man’s Land; buried their dead; and talked to each other in English and broken English (few English soldiers spoke German, but many of the Germans spoke at least some English, having worked in England before the war). Soldiers exchanged food, sang, took photographs of each other and played soccer. They also drained and repaired the trenches, repaired wire entanglements and brought ammunition and other supplies to their front lines.

On the day after Christmas, Boxing Day in England and St. Stephen’s Day for the Germans, some areas continued to observe a truce, but generally hostilities were reluctantly resumed. The war, which both sides had expected to be brief, continued into 1918. There were no more Christmas truces. But for one short time there was “Peace on earth and good will toward men.” Today, a wooden cross set in a concrete base surrounded by poppies that bloom in season commemorates the Christmas Truce.

On December 12, 2014, the Duke of Cambridge attended an English dedication ceremony for a monument to the Christmas Truce. The monument is located in the National Memorial Arboretum, a 150 acre site in Alrewas, Staffordshire. The memorial is funded by the Football Remembers partners; it is part of a series of events being held in December.

Dig Deeper
For a comprehensive examination of the truce see Silent Night: The Story of the World War I Christmas Truce by Stanley Weintraub.

Articles:
In December 1914, German and British Soldiers Took a Brief Christmas Holiday from World War I” by Leslie Stuart Carter.
Christmas Truce” by Peter Hart.
The Christmas Truce” by Kristof Grievas.

For general information about World War I, see any of the numerous histories in Falvey’s collections. A few are listed below.
Almanac of World War I by David F. Burg.
World War I: A History
World War I: Encyclopedia
The First World War by Ian Cawood.

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The Great War at Falvey: Online and In-House

LAURA

The title of the exhibition,  “Home Before the Leaves Fall,” comes from a statement attributed to Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany during an Aug. 1914 speech addressed to troops being assigned to the front lines.

Michael Foight, Special Collections and Digital Library coordinator, has served as editor, project organizer and curator of the online exhibition (HBTLF), and says this exhibition draws from rich holdings, “many little known or used,” of organizations and individuals in the mid-Atlantic region to tell the story of the Great War, World War I. “Home Before the Leaves Fall” commemorates the centennial of the first truly world-wide war. Foight tells us, “Collaborative by design, HBTLF is a multi-institutional project: articles curated by individual scholars and experts guide readers through the many threads that weave materials into a narrative tapestry, while social media spotlight newly digitized content, creative and educational use of materials, and news of other Great War commemorations. … New content will be regularly added.”

In addition to Foight, other curators from Villanova University are Laura Bang, Digital and Special Collections curatorial assistant; Demian Katz, Library Technology Development specialist; Barbara Quintiliano, nursing/life sciences and instructional services librarian; and Alexander Williams, temporary Research Support librarian. Two former Digital Library interns are also curators: Ruth Martin (2014) and Brian McDonald (2012). Other curators are affiliated with Swarthmore College, American Philosophical Society, Athenaeum of Philadelphia and Chemical Heritage Foundation.

Screenshot 2014-12-05 14.37.35

The online exhibit includes the following sections: about—contains the “Curator’s Introduction” by Foight and a short video, “Das Lausejagd (The Lousehunter),” a dedication and acknowledgements; articles—written by various specialists; projects—(“Home Before the Leaves Fall News & Blog,” “Mail Call: A Podcast of News and Letters from the Great War”

, “The Fallen of the Great War: The Philadelphia Project [a genealogical research project],” and a list of participating institutions such as Fort Mifflin on the Delaware, Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Villanova University and others); and resources—with links to “Letters, Diaries and Autobiographies,” “Materials” and “Works Consulted/Further Reading.” “Home Before the Leaves Fall” is not a static exhibit; new material is added frequently.

Falvey Memorial Library is hosting two corollary exhibits with graphics by Joanne Quinn, graphic designer and team leader of Communication and Service Promotion. On the first floor is “Home Before the Leaves Fall: Lost Memories of the Great War” curated by Laura Bang. This exhibit displays numerous items from Special Collections: two scrapbooks of French photographs, postcards, and books.

In the reference area of the second floor Learning Commons is a small exhibit, “WWI 100 Years: Lessons to be Learned,” designed by Joanne Quinn. This exhibit consists of books from Falvey’s collections selected by Sarah Wingo, subject librarian for English and theatre; Jutta Seibert, subject librarian for history; Merrill Stein, subject librarian for geography and political science; Linda Hauck, subject librarian for business; and Alice Bampton, an art historian. On the wall beside the exhibit are a large poster for “Home Before the Leaves Fall,” with the URL for the online exhibit and an arrow directing visitors to Special Collections. Also featured are reproductions of World War I posters, a world map showing the opposing nations and an illustrated timeline of the war.

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Don’t get your pretzels in a twist over finals (free cootie catcher inside!)

Make your own Falvey Library Cootie Catcher! Just print, cut, and fold in classic Cootie Catcher style.

Are you going to pass? Make your own Falvey Memorial Library Cootie Catcher and find out your fortune! Just print, cut and fold in classic Cootie Catcher style.

Don’t get your pretzels in a twist over finals! Stop by Falvey Memorial Library on Wednesday, Dec. 10 to unwind with free Philly soft pretzels and hot beverages, video and board games, and other fun activities!

Hot Beverages (coffee, cocoa, tea) 12:00-6:00 p.m.
Philly Soft Pretzels 2:00-6:00 p.m.
Video games, board games and other fun activities throughout the day! The Falvey Research Challenge iPod shuffle drawing will take place at 4 p.m.! It’s not too late to participate – take the challenge for a chance to win!

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The American Red Cross and Women Volunteers in the Great War

The American Red Cross was officially incorporated in 1905 with the President of the United States as its head. In his book The American Red Cross in the Great War, Henry P. Davison describes how the organization struggled to obtain enough public funding for supplies to ship to allied countries in the first years of the war. In 1917, however, President Woodrow Wilson appealed for greater participation from the American people: “It is for you to decide whether the most prosperous nation in the world will allow its national relief organization to keep up with its work or withdraw from a field where there exists the greatest need ever recorded in history.” He organized a war council for the American National Red Cross and appointed Davidson, a Wall Street banker, as chair. The council launched a public campaign that raised over $115 million in its first year.

In response to General Pershing’s plea to “buck up the French,” $1.5 million was donated to the French Red Cross by the ANRC, who also established hospitals and dispensaries. The organization placed 10,000 Belgian orphans with families in Holland and gave assistance to 300,000 Italian families. Russian children were kept from starvation thanks to shipments of 450,000 cans of condensed milk, and 1,200 stranded children were rescued by the ANRC in the Urals.

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An American Red Cross Mobile Canteen © Copyright 2014 The American Red Cross

More than 8 million American women volunteers packed and shipped surgical dressings and other hospital supplies, as well as socks, sweaters and other items for soldiers and sailors. Of the women who volunteered overseas, 12,000 participated in the motor services, transporting the wounded to hospitals, nurses and doctors to work, and supplies to sites where they were needed. Other women staffed mobile canteens to provide coffee, doughnuts and a bit of cheer to the servicemen.

RedCross Bryn Mawr

Image courtesy of Bryn Mawr College Special Collections

Not satisfied with the prospect of life as a Main Line socialite, Alma A. Clarke* set off alone for France just before the outbreak of the Great War.

Red Cross Clarke

Clarke, by unknown artist, courtesy of Bryn Mawr College Special Collections

After training with the Red Cross, she served as an auxiliary nurse at the American military hospital at Neuilly-sur-Seine, near Paris. Clarke compiled two scrapbooks filled with mementos of her time in France. In one scrapbook she invited wounded servicemen to record their name and regimental information, the nature of their injury and the battle zone where it was acquired. Some of the men added expressions of gratitude for the care received, brief remembrances of fallen comrades and even sketches. Clarke eventually adopted three orphans and raised them in the U.S.

Clarke’s scrapbooks are available in digital format:
http://triptych.brynmawr.edu/cdm/landingpage/collection/almaclarke

Red Cross Ward

Ward in American Military Hospital, Neuilly-Sur-Scene, courtesy of Bryn Mawr College Special Collections

Red Cross Bryn mawr 2

Image courtesy of Bryn Mawr College Special Collections

Learn more about the American Red Cross:

Davison, Henry P. The American Red Cross in the Great War. New York, Macmillan, 1918. Available online from Hathi Trust: http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/000446152

Dubovok, Sina. “American National Red Cross.” The United States in the First World
War: An Encyclopedia. Ed. Anne Cipriano Venzon. New York: Garland, 1995. 32-35. REF D510.U65 1995

Dulles, Foster Rhea. The American Red Cross: A History. New York: Harper, 1950. HV577.D8

Harrison, Carter H. With the American Red Cross in France,1918-1919. Chicago: R.F. Seymour, 1947. D629.U6H3


*This text regarding Alma A. Clarke previously appeared on the website Home Before the Leaves Fall.


FML164_BarbaraQuintiliano_011_EDITResources and article prepared by Barbara Quintiliano, nursing/life sciences & instructional services librarian.

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Nine Essential Tips for Non-Traditional Students (for National Non-Traditional Student Week!)

happy mature woman work on laptop

There are as many iterations of a non-traditional student as there are students themselves. Even ‘normal’ students these days have jobs and commitments that make their schedules far removed from idyllic full-time-student status in every sense of the word.

I know this for a fact because my own “non-trad post-grad” college career has lasted almost as long as it has taken two of my children to earn their bachelor’s degrees. Having listened to their kvetching during that time made me see that trads and non-trads endure many of the same burdens: quirky professors, toppling stacks of copies, bedspreads stained with the blooms of highlighters with lost lids and classmates at shared tables eating offensive foods (e.g.: gruesome-looking green smoothies, Chipotle burrito bowls, bologna eaten methodically slice by slice, without the bread.)

So we deserve Non Traditional Student Week, a national celebration held each year by ANTSHE, the Association of Nontraditional Students in Higher Education, and held this year from November 2-8.  It is promoted locally on our campus by Villanova University’s College of Professional Studies, including the Offices of both Part-Time and Continuing Studies, who will be awarding one outstanding non-traditional student leader. For it to come to my personal attention now is rather coincidental. I am coming to the end of my own non-traditional student journey next Saturday, as I’ll be sitting for the comprehensive exams in graduate communication studies.

How to best prepare best for a 5-hour behemoth exam while balancing a full time job, training a puppy, planning a Thanksgiving feast for 30 and keeping up with the new season of Top Chef?  Well, I think a lot of the same strategies I’ll be implementing for the next two weeks are the same ones that have gotten me through the last [too embarrassed to admit] years! I’ll share some of my favorites below. Please add your own to our comments section!

NON-TRADITIONAL STUDENT TOOLKIT:

PuppyFirst of all, don’t get a puppy. Not now. Even if he’s a gift and the cutest thing you’ve ever laid eyes on. I’m speaking from experience. Save it for your graduation gift.

Get a crockpot instead. Liquid + Onions + Meat = go.

Save your vacation time. I know it’s completely a depressing thought to use precious time away from the office on your couch with your nose buried in a George Herbert Mead treatise, but it is better than the stress you’ll feel if you don’t take the time you need to study. Stress makes you ugly, turns you into a potty mouth behind the wheel, and makes you lower your standards when it comes to choosing candy! How else can I explain the Wonka Everlasting Gobstoppers I’ve put on Amazon auto-delivery?

Become best friends with a subject librarian and/or a “good places to start” librarian. First of all, it’s easy to become friends with our librarians because they are all totes adorbs. But, we realize it’s difficult for non-trads to visit the Library during the day. Fortunately, the Library has set up a myriad of ways to consult with our librarians whether you’re on the road, at your desk, or even still in your pajamas. You’ll still get the same great service – and I can’t stress enough to get acquainted with your subject librarian and Falvey’s “great places to start” librarian, Sue Ottignon. They luuuurve to dig and are most likely already familiar with the project or information that your professor is asking for. Hardly anyone ever leaves a consult without kicking themselves for not having done it sooner. That’s a fact – folks are always kicking themselves around here! It’s like Cirque du Soliel!

Become best friends with the folks in Access Services. Another brilliant crowd – and the one that holds the keys to ACCESS, get it? Access?  The verb and noun, actually, that means to get? Not only can they help you retrieve the zillion or so items that Falvey holds, they will help you get the other zillion or two you’re bound to want as well from libraries around the world with our amazing ILL and E-Z Borrow services. And somehow, they always manage to do it with a smile fully intact. Don’t know how they do it.

Stewie-Mom-MommaHide from your family. Who knew your old Hide ‘n Seek gaming skills would come in handy during college? They do. Learn how to hide. Put up a CLOSED sign. No cooking, no cleaning, no putting out the darn dog. When it’s time to study, study. Let the family know to not bother you. Set time limits. Go to Trader Joe’s, load the freezer with Orange Chicken and Mac ‘N Cheese, point them to the microwave and close the den door. Better yet, come to the Library where they can’t find you. We have great 24/7 spaces, including a spectacular Reading Room in Falvey Hall that shares quiet study with a fascinating public conservation of a massive Baroque masterpiece.

Decide how you’re going to address your professors – then own it. You may find yourself being the same age as, or even older than your professor on occasion. This will be awkward. They may make it easy on you and say, “Hey, call me Bob!” If not, use the same strategy I used for my in-laws: catch their eye and talk to them once they’re looking at you. You may have to drop your notebook or wave your arms wildly first, but then you’ll be over that awkward patch. Always, always, always address them via their appropriate title (Dr./Prof.) in emails, though.

Consider an independent study. Some majors offer opportunities for you to spend a class or two in an independent study. Not only a perfect way to save on gas or commuting time, it’s a great way to tailor your studies to combine getting credits with a work project that you have always wanted to do or with a skill that you’ve wanted to devote more time to learning. I was able to combine visual culture theory, my interest in art and learning Bootstrap into a class I and my professor customized. Looking for ways to kill two or even three birds with one stone is a great strategy to not only save time, but to create amazing opportunities for yourself with mentorship you can’t always get in real life.

The start of a new hoops season! Photo by Molly Quinn, Class of '15.

The start of a new hoops season! Photo by Molly Quinn, Class of ’15.

You are a ‘Cat! You may keep non-traditional hours, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy all the traditional fun of being a student at Villanova University! Go to sporting events, trash talk to St. Joe’s folks, get a beer at Kelly’s or Flip’s, hit the clearance rack at the bookstore for bargains on Nova hoodies and most of all, bleed blue with the rest of us! It’s your week, Non-traditional student! Congrats and have fun!

 


Joanne Quinn is the team leader for Communication and Service Promotion search

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Dig Deeper: The Alfred F. Mannella and Rose T. Lauria-Mannella Endowed Distinguished Speaker Series Lecture

Composite3The Alfred F. Mannella and Rose T. Lauria-Mannella Endowed Distinguished Speaker Series Lecture will take place in Falvey Memorial Library on Wednesday, Nov. 5 at 7:00 p.m. The annual event focuses on scholarship about Italian-American history, culture, and the immigrant experience. This year’s lecture will feature Joseph L. Tropea, PhD, retired professor and former chair, Department of Sociology, George Washington University.

Dr. Tropea’s previous research projects in institutional history have been published in Social Science History, Criminal Justice History, Journal of Education Quarterly, Journal of Management HistoryInternational Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, as well as in edited works in the U.S. and Europe. His recent research (his presentation’s focus) shifts to social history of the greatest mine disaster in U.S. History, which killed 361 persons, including 170 Italian migrants. His work, so far, includes findings which change the facts and interpretations of that 1907 disaster, especially for Italians (West Virginia History, 2013); a biography of a once-chastised northern Italian mother of five, widowed by the disaster (Women’s Studies, 2013); and a beguiling effort to document intimacies and intricacies of four Calabrian migrants to West Virginia’s Fairmont Coal Field, including a miner who died in the explosion (under review).

The presentation will reveal many bizarre but illustrative errors and myths that constitute too much Italian-American history and identity. Dr. Tropea’s grandparents migrated from four regions in Italy (Abruzzo, Lazio, Basilicata and Calabria) to settle in West Virginia, two of whom were present in Monongah at the time of the 1907 disaster. In addition, he was honored in Rome for his research and also as “Italian Man of the Year” in Clarksburg, West Virginia.

For more information on Monongah and Italian-American history, visit the resources below, selected by Alexander Williams, liaison librarian to the communications, sociology, and criminal justice departments.


Dig Deeper

The Alfred F. Mannella and Rose T. Lauria-Mannella
Endowed Distinguished Speaker Series Lecture Blog Resources

 Resources by Joseph L. Tropea

Tropea, J. L. (2013). Monongah revisited: Sources, body parts, and ethnography. West Virginia History: A Journal of Regional Studies, 7(2), pp. 63-91. doi:10.1353/wvh.2013.0017

Tropea, J. L. (2013). Catterina DeCarlo Davia – A West Virginia donkey. Women’s Studies, 42(4), pp. 369-389. doi:10.1080/00497878.2013.773196

Tropea, J. L. (2008). Revisiting Monongah. [Review of the book Monongah: The tragic story of the worst industrial accident in US history by J.D. McAteer]. Appalachian Journal, 35(4), pp. 358-364.

Tropea, J. L., Miller, J. E., & Beattie-Repetti, C. (Eds.). (1986). Proceedings from AIHA ’86: Support and struggle: Italians and Italian Americans in a comparative perspective : proceedings of the seventeenth annual conference of the American Italian Historical Association. Staten Island, N.Y.: The Association.

 

More Resources

Argentine, P. (Producer & Director). (2007). Monongah remembered [Motion picture]. United States: Argentine productions.

Bartlett, M., & Grubb, W. The Monongah mine disaster and its social setting: A collage of newspaper accounts. Fairmont, WV: s.n.

How many at Monongah? (1995). Professional Safety, 40(3), 20. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.v illanova.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/200413992?accountid=14853

McAteer, J. D. (2014). Monongah: The tragic story of the worst industrial accident in US history. Morgantown: West Virginia University Press.

Monongah Mines Relief Committee. History of the Monongah mines relief fund: In aid of sufferers from the Monongah mine explosion, Monongah, West Virginia, December 6, 1907. [Whitefish, Mont.?]: Kessinger Pub..

Pitz, M. (2007, December 5). Italians arrive to honor immigrants killed in 1907 Monongah mine blast. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved from http://www.post-gazette.com/life/lifestyle/2007/12/05/Italians-arrive-to-honor-immigrants-killed-in-1907-Monongah-mine-blast/stories/200712050217

Pitz, M. (2007, November 28). Bell from Italy to toll in Monongah. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved from http://www.post-gazette.com/frontpage/2007/11/28/Bell-from-Italy-to-toll-in-Monongah/stories/200711280322

Rittenhouse, R. (2014). Monongah coal mine disaster 1907-2007: Pictorial history of a monumental tragedy. Westover, W.Va.: R. Rittenhouse.

Skog, J. (2014). The Monongah mining disaster. Minneapolis, Minn.: Compass Point Books.

Soladay, M. (2009). Remembering Monongah. Ambassador, 21, 11. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.villanova.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/204841924?accountid=14853

U.S. Department of Labor: Mine Safety and Health Administration. (1998, May 20). Mining disasters – An exhibition: 1907 Fairmont Coal Company mining disaster Monongah, West Virginia. Retrieved from http://www.msha.gov/DISASTER/MONONGAH/ MONON1.asp

 


Alex WilliamsDig Deeper links selected by Alexander Williams, research support librarian for the social sciences and liaison to the communications, sociology, and criminal justice departments. 

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Social Media Roundup

We know it’s a busy time of year and keeping up with news, events and internet chatter doesn’t always take priority, so we’re giving you a roundup of the latest Falvey Memorial Library posts on social media.


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BANNER_CHALLENGE5

 

Find the link on Facebook and on the library blog. There’s still time to enter the Research Challenge Quiz!

 

twitter

 

twitter open access week

 

Did you see our tweet about Open Access Week, October 20-24? Two events held that week featured Villanova librarians and visiting speakers from a law firm, Griesing Law, and from the Center for Statistics Education.

 

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El Greco doodle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This photo on Instagram links to news of the October 23rd Hispanic Cultural Heritage Month event, co-sponsored by Falvey Memorial Library, the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, Sigma Delta Pi and the Hispanic Honor Society, and which featured Agnes Moncy, PhD.

youtube logo

 

The grand opening of the CAVE automatic virtual environment took place on October 2 and included opening remarks by the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, ’75 CLAS, Frank Klassner, PhD, associate professor of computing sciences and director of the University’s Center of Excellence in Enterprise Technology (CEET), Adele Lindenmeyr, PhD, dean of Graduate Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Darren Poley, former interim director of Falvey Memorial Library.

We also have accounts on Pinterest, Goodreads, Google+ and RebelMouse.

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Throwback Thursday: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Semester

It was Fall 2012, the Sorcerer’s Semester, and we spent the whole semester, every Wednesday, reading all 7 of the Harry Potter books.

“Our readers came away with fond memories, a rekindling of their childhood love of the Potter books, and a few extra ounces (pounds?!) in the form of tasty snacks, including “authentic” butterbeer, contributed and arranged by our fabulous Outreach team.”

sorcerers

 

Winner of the Sorcerers' Semester marathon reading prize!

Winner of the Sorcerers’ Semester marathon reading prize, Chelsea Peláez!

harry missing

 

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The Great War: WWI through a literary lens

WWI-era American Library Association ad; retrieved from http://boingboing.net/2010/02/14/wwi-pro-reading-ad.html

WWI-era American Library Association ad; retrieved from http://boingboing.net/2010/02/14/wwi-pro-reading-ad.html

Due to the shifting social and economic factors at the turn of the 20th century and the rise of the middle class, more people than ever before, from all levels of society, were literate. The rise in literacy contributed to not only the prolific creation of literature during and after WWI but also to the demand for and consumption of this literature.

Though both professional and amateur authors wrote throughout the period, much of the literature that we think of as World War I literature was written after the war during the 1920s and 30s and often dealt with issues such as shell shock, the difficulty that soldiers had returning to their old lives after the war, and the effect losses from war had on families.

The study of war literature was for a very long time, and still is to an extent, focused largely on male authors. It wasn’t until the late 20th century that the writing of women during and about the War began to receive attention. Catherine Reilly’s 1981 anthology, Scars Upon my Heart: Women’s Poetry and Verse of the First World War, is the first work strictly dedicated to examining women’s poetry and prose from World War I.

World War I also ushered in a new era of literature and heavily influenced literature in the decades following it. The world was faced with a sense of disillusionment that it had never faced in such a way before, and genres such as the hard-boiled detective novels sprung up with war veteran protagonists embittered and changed by their pasts, while authors such as H. P. Lovecraft explored themes of chaos, apathy and despair through a new kind of horror story.

Below I have selected a number of titles and web resources to literature written both during and following WWI that deals directly with the war and its impact.

Because not all literature written during the War directly deals with the War, I have also created a timeline depicting a selection of major literary publications alongside a selection of historical events between the years of 1914 and 1922.

Link to Timeline:

http://cdn.knightlab.com/libs/timeline/latest/embed/index.html?source=0Avs0oI7XtkWUdEhzel9pNFRMdFlNOXVmNHdGbTY1M0E&font=Bevan-PotanoSans&maptype=toner&lang=en&height=650

Parade’s End by Ford Madox Ford (book and beautiful HBO mini series)

Ford, Parade's End old cover

Parade’s End is a tetralogy by the English novelist and poet Ford Madox Ford published between 1924 and 1928. It is set mainly in England and on the Western Front in World War I, where Ford served as an officer in the Welsh Regiment.

Originally published as four individual novels Some Do Not (1924), No More Parades (1925), A Man Could Stand Up (1926), and Last Post (1928) they are now typically combined into one volume as Parade’s End. In 2012 Parade’s End was adapted as a five part miniseries for the BBC/HBO, with script by Tom Stoppard, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Rebecca Hall.

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

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All Quiet on the Western Front, first published in 1929, is a novel by Erich Maria Remarque, a German veteran of World War I. “The book describes the German soldiers’ extreme physical and mental stress during the war, and the detachment from civilian life felt by many of these soldiers upon returning home from the front.”

Made into a film in 1930 only a year after its publication, All Quiet on the Western Front was the first all-talking non-musical film to win the Best Picture Oscar. In 2009 it was announced that there would be a remake, but thus far nothing has come of it.

Scars Upon My Heart: Women’s Poetry and Verse of the First World War by Catherine Reilly 1981

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Scars Upon My Heart is a poetry anthology collected by Catherine Reilly,” and is the first work strictly dedicated to examining women’s poetry and prose from World War I.

The Harlem Hellfighters by Max Brooks

harlem_hellfighters_cover_art_a_p

This is a contemporary graphic novel by Max Brooks, author of World War Z. It focuses on the 369th infantry, an African American unit that spent more time in combat than any other American unit and returned home to face extreme discrimination from the US government.


The Waste Land
By T.S. Eliot.

Though not directly about the war The Waste Land published in 1922 is clearly a modernist product of a post war world of disillusionment, a theme carried forward in Eliot’s other writings such as his 1925 poem “The Hollow Men.” When the United States entered World War I in 1917, Eliot tried to join the U.S. Navy but was rejected for physical reasons.

First World War Poetry Digital Archive

Link to Eliot’s registration for WWI

Link to war related resource from our new online Eliot resource

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Dig Deeper: Dirty Diamonds

Dirty DiamondsOn Thursday, Oct. 30 at 3:00 p.m., in room 204 of Falvey Memorial Library, Claire Folkman and Kelly Phillips, co-editors of the all-girl comic anthology Dirty Diamonds, will discuss their comic careers, the life cycle of publishing small press comics, and the genesis of their joint publishing endeavors. They will walk through the development of the fifth issue of Dirty Diamonds, and detail the challenges and successes of their first foray into crowd-funding through Kickstarter.

Folkman maintains her studio at Mercer St. Studios in the Fishtown neighborhood of Philadelphia, where she works on her nationally-exhibited mail art, video performance, auto-bio comic and romance collage projects. Phillips is a cartoonist based out of West Philly. She is currently detailing the story of her teenage years as the moderately successful webmaster of a “Weird Al” Yankovic fan site in the comic series “Weird Me.” She likes to get angry, get food, and get to sleep. Their goal for Dirty Diamonds is to give the women of comics a dedicated outlet for telling their stories.

This event, sponsored by Falvey Memorial Library, the Writing Center, Gender and Women’s Studies, the English Department, and the Center for Innovation, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship, is free and open to the public.

For more information on Dirty Diamonds, Folkman, and Phillips, check out the links below, selected by Sarah Wingo, liaison librarian for English and theater.


Dig Deeper

Dirty Diamonds on Tumblr

Dirty Diamonds Store

All Geek To Me Interview

ABI/Inform Complete: Melamed, S. (2014, Mar 27). Daughters of riot grrrl. McClatchy – Tribune Business News Retrieved from http://ezproxy.villanova.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/1510333199?accountid=1485


Bonus:

Check out this picture of a few of our awesome librarians (Rob LeBlanc, Sarah Wingo, and Robin Bowles) hanging out at New York Comic Con 2014! I hope they were careful; Smaug looks like he’s planning something…

LIBS AT COMIC CON2


Sarah WingoDig Deeper links selected by Sarah Wingo, team leader – Humanities II, subject librarian for English, literature and theatre.

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Last Modified: October 27, 2014