Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Englishness and Empire 1939-1965$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Wendy Webster

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199226641

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199226641.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 17 October 2019

The Post-War People’s Empire

The Post-War People’s Empire

(p.55) 3 The Post-War People’s Empire
Englishness and Empire 1939-1965


Oxford University Press

This chapter shows how adventure tales of the Second World War in the 1950s offered a new energizing myth of nation. If wartime imagery represented a high point in inclusive imagery of Britishness, the reworking of Second World War narratives from a ‘people's war’ to a ‘hero's war’ produced a far more exclusive story. The inclusiveness of wartime imagery had been, in part, a product of the need to recruit to the war effort. The shift to an exclusive story of national greatness in the 1950s meant that Second World War imagery took over the territory which empire imagery vacated, and in the 1950s, the war film bore more resemblance to the pre-war empire genre than the post-war empire film. Second World War narratives, transposing manly and high-minded heroes from an imperial to a Second World War setting, offered a new myth of national destiny.

Keywords:   war, empire, British culture, people's war, people's empire, Second World War narratives

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .