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Roaring Twenties, Hungry Thirties? Britain Between the Wars (HI9xx - Withdrawn)

This module has now been permanently withdrawn and is no longer taught in the Warwick History Department.


This module will examine the social, economic and cultural history of interwar Britain, and will also consider aspects of interwar political culture. It will introduce students to historiographical debates over interwar economic and social developments. Consideration will be given to the use of fiction, poetry, autobiography and statistical data as historical sources. It will extend students' knowledge of the theoretical and historiographical value of class, and gender. The module will place the interwar years in the wider context of Britain in the twentieth century, and in doing so will introduce students to debates over the relationship between memory and the past, and to discussions over the relevance of traditional chronological divisions in modern British history.

  • Module outline and introduction
  • After the War: memories of war in the 1920s and 1930s
  • The Roaring Twenties: leisure and class in the 1920s
  • The Hungry Thirties: measuring poverty and its effects
  • Looking at ourselves and others: autobiography, social survey and documentary
  • Reading Week
  • Domesticity and discontent: women's lives
  • Cultures of the Left: Spain, poetry and the British Left
  • Problems of periodisation: the 'People's War' and the interwar years
  • Legacies: memories of interwar Britain
Illustrative Bibliography

V. Brittain, Testament of Youth (London, 1933)

A. Calder, The People's War (London, 1969)

A. Davies, Leisure, gender and poverty (Buckingham, 1993)

M. Forster, Hidden Lives (London, 1995)

W. Greenwood, Love on the Dole (London, 1934)

M. Houlbrook, Queer London (Chicago, 2005)

S. Hynes, A War Imagined: The Great War and British Culture (London, 1990)

L. MacNeice, Autumn Journey (London, 1938)

Mass-Observation, Britain By Mass-Observation (London, 1939)

J. Priestley, English Journey (London, 1934)

B.S. Rowntree, Poverty and Progress (London, 1940)

D.L. Sayers, Gaudy Night (London, 1936)

M. Spring Rice, Working Class Wives (London, 1937)

C. Steedman, Past Tenses (London, 1992)

J. Stevenson and C. Cook, Britain in the Depression (London, 1994)

D. Storey, Saville (1976)

E. Waugh, Vile Bodies (London, 1929)

N. Whiteside, Bad Times (London, 1991)