Tumult & Tears

An Anthology of Women’s First World War Poetry

Vivien Newman

Date Published :
August 2016
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Illustration :
8-page plate section
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781783831470
Pages : 224
Dimensions : 9.5 X 6.5 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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During the First World War and its immediate aftermath, hundreds of women wrote thousands of poems on multiple themes and for many different purposes. Women’s poetry was published, sold (sometimes to raise funds for charities as diverse as ‘Beef Tea for Troops’ or ‘The Blue Cross Fund for Warhorses’), read, preserved, awarded prizes and often critically acclaimed. Tumult and Tears will demonstrate how women’s war poetry, like that of their male counterparts, was largely based upon their day-to-day lives and contemporary beliefs. Poems are placed within their wartime context. From war worker to parent; from serving daughter to grieving mother, sweetheart, wife; from writing whilst within earshot of the guns, whilst making the munitions of war, or whilst sitting in relative safety at home, these predominantly amateur, middle-class poets explore, with a few tantalising gaps, nearly every aspect of women’s wartime lives, from their newly public often uniformed roles to their sexuality.

About The Author

Dr Vivien Newman is a respected expert on women in the First World War, with a particular interest in uncovering the lives of women overlooked by other historians. She is on the judging panel for the annual war poetry competitions organized by Never Such Innocence and has previously published numerous titles with Pen & Sword.


"During the war hundreds of women wrote thousands of poems on a variety of themes. Some of it was sold to raise funds for troops' charities; much of it was often critically acclaimed. Most of it is now largely forgotten or very rarely read, so this book, gathering together some of the best, is very welcome during the 100th anniversary period. The author has placed the poems chosen in their wartime context, from war worker to parent, grieving mother, sweetheart and wife. Some of the poems were written within sound of the gunfire at the front, while others were penned safely at home. It makes for a fascinating read and a collection well worth a look, removed as it is from the usual diet of male war poets. Taken in the round it is an excellent and thought provoking collection. Highly recommended 10/10"

- Great War Magazine

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