“The Free-Masonry of Sorrow”?: English national identities and the memorialization of the Great War in Britain, 1919–1931

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Abstract

This article explores the national identities that were constructed in Britain in and around memorial activity in the aftermath of the Great War, and attempts to set them in context. It is argued that the same memorial acts could suggest identities that were both international in their vision and also narrowly national. Indeed, the tensions evident in the discourse of identity embodied in memorial activity indicate that the idea of the nation itself was contested. That the same soldiers could have died for Britain, the Empire, Europe and England acts as a practical case study of the shifting and chimerical nature of national identity in modern Britain.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-120
JournalHistory & Memory
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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