Edinburgh Companion to Twentieth-Century Scottish Literature

By Ian Brown; Alan Riach | Go to book overview

CHAPTER THREE
Literature and World War One

Trevor Royle

World War One changed Scotland in many profound ways. In May 1914 a Home Rule Bill passed its second reading in the House of Commons, mainly as a result of the promptings of the Scottish Home Rule Association and the Young Scots Society, a radical-minded grouping within the ruling Liberal Party who were in favour of free trade, social reform and what they called ‘the unquenchable and indefinable spirit of nationalism’.1 The outbreak of war three months later meant that the Bill was never enacted and the devolution debate would not be reopened until towards the end of the century. But there were other significant changes. War boosted the country’s heavy industries, especially in the west. It encouraged women’s employment: by 1918, 31,500 female workers were employed by Scotland’s munitions industries. In the war’s early months the proportion of men aged eighteen to forty-one enlisting voluntarily was higher than elsewhere in the United Kingdom. To expand Britain’s small Regular Army Lord Kitchener, Secretary for War, called for the creation of a huge ‘New Army’ of volunteers; the response in Scotland, as elsewhere, was enthusiastic.

Despite initial doubts, the volunteer principle worked: by the end of 1915, the British total was 2,466,719 men, more than that achieved after the introduction of conscription in May 1916 and just under half the wartime total of 5.7 million men serving in the army during the war. Of this, 320,589 (13 per cent) were Scots. By the war’s end, the number of Scots in the armed forces was 688,416: 71,707 in the Royal Navy, 584,098 in the Army (Regular, New and Territorial) and 32,611 in the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Air Force. Culture too was affected: although it would take time for the effects to be felt, literature in Scotland was transformed by experience of World War One.

At the outbreak of hostilities Scottish literature was largely in the doldrums. Robert Louis Stevenson (1850–94), Scotland’s greatest writer of the late nineteenth century, was dead, and much poetry being published was either sentimental, historical verse or Celtic Twilight’s mystical vapours. Fiction was generally stuck in the Kailyard, the catch-all phrase used by

-37-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Edinburgh Companion to Twentieth-Century Scottish Literature
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 264

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.