- Why did writers abandon political commitment at the end of the 1930s, and what did they adopt in its place?
- ‘A low dishonest decade’ (W.H. Auden). Is this an accurate assessment of the 1930s?
- How helpful is the idea of ‘the Thirties’ to understanding the literary history of the 1930s?
- Is the idea of a ‘long 1939’ a useful way of thinking about the history of politics and literature?
- When did ‘the Thirties’ end?
Steve Ellis, British Writers and the Approach of World War II (Cambridge, 2015), Introduction & ch.4
Samuel Hynes, The Auden Generation: Literature and Politics in England in the 1930s (London, 1976), chs.X-XI
Sebastian Knowles, A Purgatorial Flame: Seven British Writers in the Second World War (Philadelphia, 1990), Preface & chs.I-III
Phyllis Lassner, British Women Writers of World War II: Battlegrounds of Their Own (Basingstoke, 1998), Introduction & chs.1-2
Malcolm Smith, ‘George Orwell, War and Politics in the 1930s’, Literature and History 6:2 (1980), 219-234
Robert Colls, George Orwell: English Rebel (Oxford, 2013), ch.4;
John Baxendale and Christopher Pawling (eds.), Narrating the Thirties: A decade in the making, 1930 to the present (Basingstoke, 1996)