The Secret Battle: Emotional Survival in the Great War

TitleThe Secret Battle: Emotional Survival in the Great War
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsRoper, Michael
Number of Pages364
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
CityManchester, UK; New York

What did home mean to British soldiers and how did it help them to cope with the psychological strains of the Great War? This book explores the contribution letters and parcels from home played in maintaining the morale of this largely young, amateur army. And it shows how soldiers, in their turn, sought to adapt domestic habits to the trenches. Pursuing the unconscious clues within a rich collection of letters and memoirs with the help of psychoanalytical ideas, including those formulated by the veteran tank commander Wilfred Bion, this study asks fundamental questions about the psychological resources of this generation of young men. It reveals how the extremities of battle exposed the deepest emotional ties of childhood, and went on marking the post-war domestic lives of those who returned. [publisher]

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