by Garver, Lee
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As with volume eighteen, the six months spanning volume nineteen of The New Age are dominated by events and issues related to World War I. This is the period of perhaps the most bloody and violent fighting during the war, most notably the horrific stalemates at Verdun and the Somme where hundreds of thousands of Allied and German combatants died, often in poorly conceived and suicidal attacks on well fortified trenches. It is also ironically a time of misplaced optimism about the war for many in Great Britain. Despite an abortive rebellion by Irish nationalists in Dublin, Ireland in late April and the surrender of 10,000 British troops to the Turkish army at Kut-al-Imara less than a week later, Russian successes along the Eastern Front during the next several months give hope among the Allies that the Central Powers might be weakening. However, by October 1916 this optimism is shattered as the Allied offensive along the Somme goes nowhere and the Russian offensive in the East collapses.
The New Age response to these developments takes several forms. Little is actually written about the fighting, and what discussion does take place is largely reflective of mainstream press coverage. “Foreign Affairs” columnist J.M. Kennedy shares the nation's optimism about the Russian advances as well as its general ignorance of the horrors of Verdun and the Somme. Indeed, the staggering British losses along the Somme receive almost no mention by him or anyone else in the magazine and will not become an important subject of discussion until later volumes. Most of the war coverage takes the form of criticizing conscription, war profiteering, and the economic policies of the Herbert Asquith-led coalition government. There is also considerable planning for postwar reconstruction, usually with an eye to advancing guild socialist programs and measures. The magazine is eager to see Germany and the other Central Powers defeated, but it is also keen to build a peace that will strengthen labor, foster greater efficiency and cooperation in industry, and encourage democracy in Germany. Other noteworthy matters addressed in this volume include the harsh British reprisals against the Irish rebels, the new science of psychoanalysis, and contributor Ramiro de Maeztu's functionalist philosophy of values. Cultural analysis remains important, but it is focused more exclusively than in the past on the English literary tradition, reflecting a growing interest in the magazine in what contributor Huntly Carter defines as regionalism.
Names to Know While Using Volume Nineteen
- Herbert Henry Asquith
- Liberal Prime Minister and head of the British coalition government. David Lloyd George
- Minister of Munitions and later Minister of War, replacing Lord Kitchener in the latter post when Kitchener is killed in June 1916. Sir Edward Grey
- Foreign Secretary in the Asquith coalition government. Lord Herbert Kitchener
- Minister of War in the Asquith coalition government until his untimely death in June 1916. Lord Northcliffe (Alfred Charles William Harmsworth)
- Powerful press baron best known for his advocacy of conscription and his criticisms of Lord Kitchener in his newspaper The Daily Mail. Sir Edward Carson
- Leader of the Irish Unionists and prominent conservative member of Herbert Asquith's coalition government, serving as Attorney General until his resignation from the post in October 1916. Best known for forming the paramilitary Ulster Volunteer Force in opposition to Irish Home Rule before the war. William Morris “Billy” Hughes
- Labor Prime Minister of Australia who traveled to Great Britain in January 1916 to push for a greater voice for Australia in the conduct of the war. He is an influential figure in the Asquith government during this period. Augustine Birrell
- Chief Secretary for Ireland in the Asquith coalition government. Arthur James Balfour
- Prominent conservative politician and First Lord of the Admiralty in the Asquith coalition government. Austin Harrison
- Editor of The English Review, one of most respected literary journals of the period.
Major Events of the Period
Military and Political
- April 24-May 1
- With the support of Sinn Fein, members of the Irish Republican Brotherhood take part in the Easter Rising in Dublin, Ireland, in an attempt to end British Rule in Ireland. Led by Patrick Pearse and James Connolly, the rebels capture the Post Office at Dublin and proclaim an independent republic. However, they number only 1,000 and are powerless against a large British force landed to put down the rebellion. After four days of British bombardment, which sets much of Dublin aflame, the rebels surrender. The uprising enjoys little popular Irish support, but the heavy-handed British treatment of the rebels quickly makes them martyrs. Controversy over the execution of the principal leaders becomes a major topic of discussion in The New Age, as does the merit of granting immediate independence to Ireland in an effort to win greater Irish support for the war effort. (See 19.01:001, 19.02:027, 19.03:049, 19.04:073, 19.05:097, 19.07:160, 19.08:172.) April 29
- The Turkish army recaptures the Mesopotamian city of Kut-al-Imara from the occupying British forces, following a 143-day siege dating from December 7, 1915. 10,000 prisoners are taken, dealing yet another humiliating loss to the British Army, which had retreated ignominiously from Gallipoli less than five months earlier. Editor A.R. Orage is defensive about the defeat. (See 19.01:001.) May 12
- James Connolly is the last of the seven rebels to be executed who signed a proclamation declaring an Irish republic. May 15
- United States Marines land in Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic to restore order and protect American political and economic interests. President Juan Isidro Jimenez—the nominal beneficiary of the invasion—resigns in protest, putting the United States in the uncomfortable position of having invaded a friendly state and deposed its leader. The nation remains occupied for nearly a decade, and constitutional rule is not restored until 1924. May 15-June 3
- Austro-Hungarian troops under General Franz Conrad mount the Asiago offensive near Verona, Italy, but make few gains. May 31-June 1
- British and German navies clash in the Battle of Jutland in the North Sea, the largest naval conflict of the war. The British fleet under Admiral Jellicoe loses a greater number of ships, but succeeds in reaffirming British naval dominance. The German surface fleet will remain in harbor for the rest of the war. In the immediate aftermath of the battle, editor A.R. Orage argues strongly that the battle should be judged a success for the British navy, commenting, “The navy is keeping goal remarkably well” (19.06:121). June 4-20
- The Russian armies commanded by General Alexei Brusilov mount the Brusilov Offensive, pushing the Austro-Hungarian line south of the Russian Pripet Marshes. This and other Russian offensives in the early summer create considerable optimism that the war is going well for the Allies. In The New Age, “Foreign Affairs” columnist J.M. Kennedy, writing under the name “S. Verdad,” comments, “Nobody pretends that an invasion of the eastern provinces of Prussia would yield as rapid results as the attacks on in Galicia and in Bukovina; but they would terrorise the German population of the districts affected, and might lead to large withdrawals of men from Verdun and other parts of the Western Front” (19.07:147). (See also 19.08:173.) June 5
- A British-supported Arab revolt against Ottoman rule begins in the Hejaz region of what is today Saudi Arabia. Hussein ibn Ali, the Grand Sharif of Mecca, declares war on the Turks in the hope of achieving Arabia's independence from Turkey and Great Britain. The rise of Arab nationalism will prove critical in the eventual allied defeat of Turkey. June 6
- Minister of War Lord Kitchener, whose stern visage is depicted on British recruitment posters, dies when the cruiser HMS Hampshire is sunk by a German mine off the Orkney Islands. (See 19.07:146.) June 6
- British and French armies blockade Greece, fearing that King Constantine is in league with the Central Powers, only backing off when the Greek army is stood down on June 22. (See 19.01:004, 19.04:076, 19.07:147, 19.09:196, 19.14:340.) June 6
- Autocratic Chinese President Yuan Shikai dies in the midst of defending his government from an armed revolt by former revolutionary and republican ally Sun Yat-sen. His death leaves China without a clear political leader and plunges the fledgling republic into a chaos of rule by feuding warlords. In the absence of stable constitutional rule, military strength will determine succession. June 23
- The Convention of Ulster Nationalists agrees to an amendment to exclude Ulster from Irish rule under the Government of Ireland Act. June 24
- The Germans begin a new offensive at Verdun, France, which has been the scene of ferocious fighting since February and will continue to be a site of catastrophic bloodshed for another six months. When the Germans finally abandon their costly offensive in December 1916, German losses will stand at 330,000 and French losses at 350,000. Together with the fighting along the Somme, this battlefront, in which advancing troops are slaughtered by hails of well entrenched machine gun fire, eventually becomes synonymous in the public imagination with the futility and horrors of trench warfare. (For discussion of this ongoing battle, see 19.07:147, 19.07:160, 19.11:245.) June 26-30
- The Russian offensive under Alexei Brusilov results in the capture of most of Galicia, a province of the Austro-Hungarian Empire now part of Poland and Ukraine. July 1-November 18
- The British and French launch a major offensive along the Somme River in Picardy, France in an effort to take pressure off French troops at Verdun and push back the German line. The British Army suffers 60,000 casualties (including 20,000 dead) on the first day. It is the largest single loss of life during the entire war. The bloody campaign ends in stalemate after nearly five months of horrific fighting and results in over 794,000 British and French casualties and 540,000 German casualties. At the time the carnage seemed futile, but after the war the Germans attested that the losses had so debilitated their war effort that it was the turning point of the conflict. The wisdom of the offensive and the allied battle tactics remain a subject of continued debate today. (See 19.11:245, 19.17:388, 19.19:436, 19.26:603.) July 7
- Minister of Munitions David Lloyd George replaces Lord Kitchener as Minister of War. August 3
- The former diplomat and Irish nationalist leader Roger Casement, famous for exposing slavery in the Congo, is sentenced to death for his part in the Easter Rising. (See 19.11:244.) August 17-September 18
- A Bulgarian and German force attacks the Allied enclave around Thessalonika (Salonika), Greece at the Battle of Florina. (See 19.17:388, 19.19:436, 19.20:459.) August 27
- Romania declares war on Austria-Hungary, the first of series of such declarations in the next few days that will expand the theater of the war. August 28
- Italy declares war on Austria-Hungary and Germany. (See 19.18:412.) August 29
- Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg is appointed German Chief of General Staff in succession to Eric von Falkenhayn, whose strategy at Verdun, France is not working. August 30
- The Ottoman Empire declares war on Romania. September 1
- Bulgaria declares war on Romania. September 4
- Allied troops under South African General Jan Smuts take Dar es Salaam, the capital of German East Africa in what is today Tanzania. September 6
- The Central Powers establish a Supreme War Council, increasing German influence in the dispirited Austro-Hungarian armed forces. September 15
- Tanks are used for the first time in battle by the Allies along the Somme. However, too few are employed to be effective and the allied offensive is halted. September 20
- The Russian offensive in the East collapses as German reinforcements save Austria-Hungary from possible defeat in the war. Earlier optimism that the allies were winning the war is now replaced by growing pessimism that it will continue to be a stalemate for the indefinite future. “Foreign Affairs” columnist J.M. Kennedy gives a succinct account of the developments in the October 26 issue of The New Age: “During the last five or six weeks I have continually laid stress on the fact that the only chance we had of seeing the war end next year was a definite advance in the Balkans, an advance which should cut off Bulgaria and Turkey from the Central Powers. These two countries, thus deprived of essential supplies, and prevented from sending reinforcements to the Austro-German armies on the eastern front, could not have held out for more than a calculable period; and such a state would have had a powerful effect in Hungary, Austria, and even Germany. The blow has missed[.] . . . This is a wonderful result [for the Central Powers]; for the Russian attacks have been held up, and the Allied gains on the Somme can hardly as yet be called proportionate to the sacrifices made and to the energy expended” (19.26:603). September 27
- German general Eric von Falkenhayn leads a successful Austro-German counteroffensive in Romania, which continues until January 1917. This creates further pessimism in The New Age that the war will continue for far longer than anyone had suspected at the beginning of the year. October 9
- Former Greek prime minister Eleutherios Venizelos arrives in Thessaloniki (Salonika), Greece to establish a provisional government supportive of the Allies. October 10-December 12
- Allied troops under the French general Maurice Sarrail begin an offensive against the Bulgarian and German army at Thessaloniki (Salonika), Greece. October 16
- Margaret Sanger opens the first American birth control clinic in Brooklyn, New York. On October 24, only nine days later, the clinic is raided and Sanger and her staff are arrested. Sanger is convicted and spends 30 days in prison. October 19
- A Franco-British conference at Boulogne, France recognizes the provisional Greek government at Thessaloniki (Salonika), Greece under Eleutherios Venizelos.
Artistic, Cultural, and Scientific
- The Dada anti-art movement emerges in Zurich, Switzerland in reaction against the war. Its leading figures include Romanian writer Tristan Tzara, French artist Hans Arp, and German sound poet and Cabaret Voltaire founder Hugo Ball. These events are completely off the radar of The New Age.
- Irish writer James Joyce publishes Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, previously serialized in the English literary journal The Egoist during 1914 and 1915.
- English author H.G. Wells publishes his best-selling novel Mr. Britling Sees It Through, which depicts an average Englishman's response to the war. In light of the criticism Wells usually receives in the magazine, the novel receives surprisingly extensive and positive comment. (See 19.24:570.)
- American filmmaker D.W. Griffith releases his costly, ambitious, and commercially unsuccessful movie Intolerance, considered by many the greatest film of the silent era. Griffith's advanced techniques will influence a generation of future filmmakers.
- French painter Claude Monet begins work on his monumental murals The Waterlilies, widely regarded as his finest paintings.
- English composer Gustav Holst completes his popular orchestral suite The Planets.
- American poet Ezra Pound publishes his poetry collection Lustra.
- American poet H.D. publishes her poetry collection Sea Garden.
- American poet Carl Sandburg publishes his collection Chicago Poems.
- German scientist Albert Einstein publishes The Foundation of the General Theory of Relativity, in which he postulates that space is a curved field modified locally by the existence of mass and that this can be demonstrated by observing the deflection of starlight around the sun during a total eclipse. This replaces previous Newtonian ideas which invoke a force of gravity.
- British neurologist Frederick Mott develops the theory of shell-shock. Trench warfare, which consisted largely of sitting in a narrow, muddy hole while explosives rained from the sky, combined terror with helplessness and led to unprecedented range of battlefield ailments ranging from paralyzing anxiety to hallucinations. Mott was instrumental in diagnosing and fostering sympathy for this increasingly widespread disorder.
- American philosopher John Dewey publishes Democracy and Education, arguing that in a democracy educators must prepare individuals to pursue self-education indefinitely.
- Swiss psychologist Carl Gustav Jung publishes Psychology of the Unconscious, in which he develops the concept of the collective unconscious. The book is reviewed quite favorably in The New Age by future Freud translator M.D. Eder. “Jung's great work points out to us, indeed, the dying gods; his great understanding of the human psyche would help to find new ways of life, to replace the dying with the nascent faith, to make the transition less painful and less destructive; harmless it cannot be: witness the great war” (19.12:284).
The format and pricing of volume nineteen remain unchanged from volume eighteen. Each of the volume's 26 issues is 24 pages in length and costs six pence. The organization of the magazine and its principal contributors also remain largely the same. The only notable difference is that the feature “Current Cant” is discontinued. No series from volume eighteen is carried over into volume nineteen. Financial troubles, however, are becoming an increasing concern, especially because of a rise in the cost of paper and a decline in readership brought on by the war. (See 19.25:590.)
Principal Topics and Series
Political and Economic
- The Battlefront
- In keeping with Editor A.R. Orage's belief that it is “folly to discuss the destruction . . . as mere spectators” (19.14:313), few contributors actually write about the actual fighting. However, there are notable exceptions. Orage makes occasional comments on battles, usually to defend British forces against what he believes are unfair criticisms from the mainstream press (19.01:001, 19.06:121). J.M. Kennedy's weekly column “Foreign Affairs,” written under the pseudonym “S. Verdad,” provides a thoughtful, albeit often overly optimistic, account of war developments. Paul Selver provides translations of “Home Letters from German Soldiers.” Spaniard Ramiro de Maeztu, traveling with South American journalists, writes about his experiences on the Western Front in a series of articles titled “A Visit to the Front.” And “Suvla Bay” writes about “The Failures of Gallipoli” (19.23:534-6). As mentioned earlier, little of the horror of the bloody fighting along the Western Front makes itself felt in the magazine, though Orage does at one point exclaim, “Hell has been let loose upon a scale never known before” (19.14:313). The one notable exception is Beatrice Hastings, who writing from France under the pseudonym “Alice Morning,” bitterly cries out against the awful waste of life. (See in particular 19.07:160.) The Home Front
- Numerous contributors criticize shortcomings in Great Britain's mobilization for the war and offer their thoughts on how society might better contribute to the war effort. See “Notes of the Week” (19.03:052, 19.18:409, 19.25:577), “Unedited Opinions: Economic and Military Power” (19.06:125), Hilaire Belloc's “Certain Social Tendencies of the War” (19.08:174), W. Mears's Swiftian satires “The Disposal of Disabled Soldiers” (19.09:207) and “The Mobilisation of the Empire” (19.17:396), Edward V. Arnold's set of articles titled “Social Organisation for the War,” Margaret Macgregor's pieces on “The Bogey of Infant Mortality,” and above all the series “War and Its Makers,” published under the byline Kosmopolites, which attempts to identify the political and social factors behind the war and explore how future conflicts of this kind might be prevented. War Profiteering
- There is perhaps no topic that receives more frequent criticism in this volume than that of war profiteering, especially in light of the introduction of conscription in January 1916 and the sacrifices organized labor are thought to be making. Calls for the “conscription of wealth,” begun in earlier volumes, continue. See “Notes of the Week” (19.04:74, 19.06:121, 19.10:217, 19.13:289, 19.18:410, 19.26:601) and the series “Central Europe and the Profiteer.” Conscription, Pacifism, and Conscientious Objection
- With the passage of a conscription bill in January 1916, debate over these matters cools considerably. However, important pieces continue to be written on these subjects. See “Notes of the Week” (19.01:001, 19.02:025), “Foreign Affairs” (19.05:102, 19.21:484), “Unedited Opinions: The Compulsion of Men” (19.01:005), “Unedited Opinions: The Compulsion of Men Again” (19.02:029), “Are Conscientious Objectors Going to be Shot?” (19.03:52), J.F. Horrabin's “Tuition by Correspondence” (19.03:54), “Unedited Opinions: The Real Pacifism” (19.04:076), A.E. Randall's “Views and Reviews: A Pacifist Handbook” (19.26:617), and Beatrice Hasting's pseudonymously published “The Enemy in the House” (19.07:160) and not-to-be-missed series “Peace Notes.” Ireland
- The Easter Rising in Dublin and its brutal suppression by the British government occasion widespread discussion about Ireland, including an important piece by Irish playwright and Fabian socialist George Bernard Shaw titled “Irish Nonsense about Ireland,” in which he asserts, “Ireland, without the least regard to its squabble with England, must group itself in a combination which the real centre is Western Republicanism and democratic internationalism” (19.02:030). Other contributors are on the whole more supportive of the rebels and vastly more hostile to the British authorities, especially the part they played in the “murder” of well known pacifist and former New Age contributor Francis Sheehy-Skeffington, mistakenly shot to death without a trial. See in particular “Notes of the Week” (19.01:001, 19.02:027, 19.03:049, 19.04:073, 19.05:097, 19.08:172), “Foreign Affairs” (19.02:028), Beatrice Hastings's pseudonymously published “The Enemy in the House” (19.07:160), and the C.E. Bechhofer series “Letters from Ireland.” Germany
- Germany is a major source of anxiety and concern, as much for its industrial superiority to Great Britain as for its military prowess or what are believed to be its moral and cultural failings. Although no contributor shows the least doubt that the Germany will be defeated in the war, there is considerable concern that Great Britain will be ill prepared to compete with Germany economically once the conflict is over. There is also concern about the nature of the peace to be negotiated and whether it will be punitive or be designed to foster the development of a friendlier, less militaristic outlook among the German people. See “Notes of the Week” (19.05:098, 19.07:145, 19.08:169), “Foreign Affairs” (19.05:100, 19.19:436), A.R. Orage's pseudonymously published literary column “Readers and Writers” (19.01:013), George Bernard Shaw's “The German Case Against Germany” (19.04:077) and “The Alleged Confusions of Mr. Bernard Shaw” (19.09:197), Ramiro de Maeztu's “The Confusions of George Bernard Shaw” (19.07:152) and “Mr. Shaw and the German Republic” (19.13:294), “Unedited Opinions: Worth Millions” (19.10:221), A.E. Randall's “Views and Reviews: That Strain Again!” (19.10:233) and “Views and Reviews: Revenge! Timotheus Cries” (19.20:475), Oscar Levy's “An Open Letter to German Intellectuals” (19.12:273), Edward V. Arnold's series “Germany: Her Strength and Weaknesses,” E.A.B.'s “Deutschland Ueber Alles” (19.18:416), Bruno Lasker's “Labour in Germany and England After the War” (19.20:465), and Fred Rothwell's translations of Pierre Lasserre's “Germanism and the Human Mind.” Russia
- With the publication of contributor C.E. Bechhofer's book Russia at the Cross Roads, British war ally Russia again becomes a subject of discussion in The New Age. (See 19.10:229, 19.11:259, 19.12:280.) Greece
- With the entry of Greece into the war, there are several pieces written about the nation. See “Foreign Affairs” (19.01:004, 19.04:076, 19.07:147, 19.09:196, 19.14:340, 19.17:388, 19.19:436, 19.20:459, 19.26:603) and Allen Upward's “The Choice of Hellas” (19.23:538). Arabia and the Greater Islamic World
- With the entry of Arabia into the war, there is greater interest in its people. See Marmaduke Pickthall's series “Islam and Progress,” which argues that Islam is more progressive than Christianity, and M.B. Oxon's “Ancient History” (19.21:494). Armenia
- The Turkish massacre of Armenians, which took place approximately a year earlier, continues to elicit commentary. See Marmaduke Pickthall's “Sir Mark Sykes and the Armenians” (19.01:006) and Armenian Dikran Kouyoumdjian's “An Appeal to Sense” (19.14:322) and “New Lamps for Old” (19.25:595). Postwar Reconstruction and Guild Socialism
- A number of contributors look ahead to the end of war and the establishment of guild socialism in Great Britain. See “Notes of the Week” (19.05:098, 19.06:122, 19.08:169, 19.09:193, 19.10:218, 19.11:244, 19.13:290, 19.14:313, 19.15:337, 19.16:361, 19.21:481), T. Constantinople's “Christian Economics” (19.05:105), Mrs. E. Townshend's “The School as a Sorting House” (19.06:127) and “Education under National Guilds” (19.08:178), Leighton J. Warnock's “The 'Round Table' and Others” (19.07:148), H.B. Hyams's “The Guild Ideal and Architecture” (19.14:321), W. Mears's “National Guilds, Limited” (19.16:372), “Fabian Finance” (19.18:428), Hilaire Belloc's “The Coming of Servile Labour” (19.26:606), the series “Notes on Economic Terms,” and Henry J. Northbrook's set of articles “Industrial Notes.” For more on guild socialism, see the MJP essay on the political philosophy. Governmental Incompetence
- “When Ignorance is Bliss,”“The Innocents Abroad,” and “The Larger Ignorance”—series published under the pseudonyms “Verax” and “Jonathon”—offer blistering critiques of British governmental amateurism and John Bull's placid acceptance of this state of affairs. As regards the latter, see also the “Verax” series “Fiat Lux.” Regionalism
- In a series titled “Letters from France,” Huntly Carter reacts against what he and others in The New Age regard as the economic roots of World War I in ideals of nationalist expansion. He promotes instead “regionalism,” the principle that “all noble and lasting peace” depends on the “inward development or the spirit of inspansion” in a nation (19.16:374). The parallels with guild socialist ideals about industrial organization and the magazine's reawakened interest in the English literary tradition are striking. Functions and Values
- Spanish political theorist Ramiro de Maeztu, whose influential book Authority, Liberty, and Function is published during this period, continues to write about functionalism and moral values. Although rightly considered a pivotal figure in the development of a philosophy of values supportive of guild socialism, he arouses considerable debate and disagreement in this volume, most notably with Irish playwright and Fabian socialist George Bernard Shaw and “Views and Reviews” columnist A.E. Randall. See de Maeztu's “A Reflection on Sin” (19.01:009), “On Functions and Values” (19.03:057), “Authority, Liberty, and Function” (19.05:104), “The So-Called Law of Rent” (19.09:198), and “Independence and Interdependence” (19.14:344). See also A.E. Randall's “View and Reviews: The Objective Wrong” (19.04:088), “Views and Reviews: What is a Function?” (19.06:138), and “Views and Reviews: I Work, Therefore I Vote” (19.17:403); Editor A.R. Orage's pseudonymously published column “Readers and Writers” (19.14:326, 19.25:590), and Beatrice Hastings's pseudonymously published “Peace Notes” (19.15:354). The debates between de Maeztu and Shaw are listed above under the heading “Germany.” “Our Un-Idea'd Press”
- A series by Charles Brookfarmer critical of the mainstream press. “Trade Unions and Friendly Societies in the Roman Empire”
- A series in which Edward V. Arnold turns to the classical past, especially as regards matters of labor organization, to identify dangers and opportunities currently facing the British Empire. “The Emancipation of the Jews and the Conquest of Palestine”
- A short series by Angelo Rappaport in which he addresses the possibility of there being a Jewish state established in Palestine after the war. “The present world contest, it is universally admitted, is a war of liberation, a war of emancipation, a war that is destined, with the victory of the Allies, to bring about an era of liberty to downtrodden nationalities. . . . The hearts of Jewry are beating faster with the hope—and promises made in influential quarters seem to lend strength to this hope—that not only will the Jews of Russia and Roumania be granted equal rights, but that the establishment of a Jewish State in Palestine will be seriously entertained in diplomatic circles, and even by Cabinet Ministers” (19.21:490). “Sorel, Marx, and the War”
- A piece in which Herbert Read ponders “in what degree the present war will do the work expected by [French Marxist Georges] Sorel to be done by a general extension of proletarian violence” (19.06:128).
- Revisiting the English Literary Tradition
- Although never a fervent proponent of modernism or new experiments in the arts, Editor A.R. Orage, who in his pseudonymously published column “Readers and Writers” is responsible for the lion's share of aesthetic commentary in this volume, brings more than usual attention to the English literary past, including authors Charles Lamb (19.02:034), Algernon Swinburne (19.04:084), Robert Browning (19.18:421), and William Cobbett (19.21:493). The Grotesque
- Developing ideas first presented in his series “Shakespeare as Grotesque” from volume eighteen, Huntly Carter contributes a new series titled “Great Books and Grotesques.” Books discussed include The Bible (19.06:132), The Arabian Nights (19.08:180), The Divine Comedy (19.10:228), Don Quixote (19.12:277), and The Mahabharata (19.14:325). Hamlet and Psychoanalysis
- Editor A.R. Orage and “Views and Reviews” columnist A.E. Randall hold a running debate on the subject (See 19.01:013, 19.02:047, 19.04:084, 19.05:119, 19.06:134, 19.07:162, 19.11:259, 19.12:280, 19.24:565). C.E. Bechhofer satirizes their exchanges in his satirical series “Tales of To-Day” (19.12:282). H.G. Wells
- English author and former New Age contributor H.G. Wells is the subject of a variety of critiques by Editor A.R. Orage in his pseudonymously published column “Readers and Writers” (19.07:157, 19.10:229). In addition, his best-selling novel Mr. Britling Sees It Through is the subject of surprisingly extensive and positive commentary by “Views and Reviews” columnist A.E. Randall (19.24:570). Ezra Pound
- American poet Ezra Pound contributes translations “From the Chinese” (19.08:186) and Editor A.R. Orage critically reviews Pound's Gaudier-Brzeska, a volume on French sculptor and recent war casualty Henri Gaudier-Brzeska. In speaking of the volume, Orage comments, “I count myself . . . . one of the admirers of the late Gaudier-Brzeska. I knew and liked the man, and I felt disposed to like his work. I was therefore 'ready' to discuss it with anybody who had anything to say about it. But what Mr. Pound has to say about it I simply cannot discover; and nor, I think, can anyone else. More modest readers than I am will blame themselves for their failure to understand Mr. Pound. I blame Mr. Pound; and my annoyance is all the greater for the cheerful arrogance of his assumption that he is really illuminating his subject if only in a rough and ready way. I deny it, Mr. Pound. I deny that you have said a single intelligible thing about the art of Gaudier-Brzeska, or have contributed even the beginnings of a criticism of his work” (19.08:181). D.H. Lawrence
- Editor A.R. Orage critically reviews English novelist D.H. Lawrence's collection of essays Twilight in Italy (19.23:541), touching off a fascinating critical exchange with a defensive Beatrice Hastings (19.26:613). George Bernard Shaw
- Editor A.R. Orage reviews Shaw's recently published Preface to Androcles and the Lion (19.09:205) and makes reference to an unnamed play which authorities refuse to allow to be produced during wartime (19.19:445). Henry James
- Editor A.R. Orage offers his highest praise of the recently deceased American novelist Henry James (19.04:085, 19.23:541). Rupert Brooke
- In response to public praise of Brooke since his death, editor A.R. Orage reaffirms his low estimation of the poet. “Dead he is as bad a poet as he was still alive” (19.24:565). “Drama”
- A column by A.E. Randall, written under the pseudonym “John Francis Hope,” which offers commentary on contemporary theater. “Impressions of French Pronunciation”
- A pseudonymously published series by Beatrice Hastings on the peculiarities of French pronunciation. “An Artist's Notebook”
- A column in which Henry Bishop offers varied musings on aesthetic matters.
- A range of articles are published on the new science, including a thoughtful review by M.D. Eder of Swiss psychologist Gustav Carl Jung's Psychology of the Unconscious (19.12:284) as well as a series by M.W. Robieson titled “Psycho-Analysis and Conduct.” “Tales of To-Day”
- A gentle and humorous set of satirical sketches from the pen of C.E. Bechhofer. Some of the more amusing installments include “The Shaw-Wells Ministry” (19.07:159) and “An Anglo-Indian Episode” (19.17:401). “A Modern Document”
- A series by Herbert Lawrence in which a restless, young woman named “Acton Reed” purportedly writes him about the troubles of being a “modern” woman. “A Letter to the Bishops”
- A series “By the Man in the Street” criticizing greed and materialism in the higher ranks of the Church of England.
- Clarke, Peter. Hope and Glory: Britain 1900-1990. London: Penguin, 1996.
- Daniel, Clifton, ed. 20th Century Day by Day. New York: D.K. Publishing, 1999.
- Gilbert, Martin. A History of the Twentieth Century, Volume I 1900-1933. New York, William Morrow and Company, 1997.
- Williams, Neville. Chronology of World History, Volume IV 1901-1998 The Modern World. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 1999.