The Great Silence

Britain From the Shadow of the First World War to the Dawn of the Jazz Age

Nicolson, Juliet

Book - 2009
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
The Great Silence
Baker & Taylor
A social history of the first two years in Britain following World War I covers topics ranging from the development of skin grafting procedures by surgeon Harold Gillies and the passage of the women's vote to the state funeral of the Unknown Soldier.

Perseus Publishing
Juliet Nicolson pieces together colorful personalities, historic moments, and intimate details to create a social history of the two years following the Great War in Britain. Not since Nicolson’s The Perfect Summer have we seen an account that so vividly captures a nation’s psyche at a particular moment in history.
The euphoria of Armistice Day 1918 vaporizes to reveal the carnage that war has left in its wake. But from Britain’s despair emerges new life. For veterans with faces demolished in the trenches, surgeon Harold Gillies brings hope with his miraculous skin-grafting procedure. Women win the vote, skirt hems leap, and Brits forget their troubles at packed dance halls. The remains of a nameless soldier are laid to rest in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Westminster Abbey. ?The Great Silence,” observed in memory of the countless dead, halts citizens in silent reverence.
Nicolson crafts her narrative using a lively cast of characters: from an aging butler to a pair of newlyweds, from the Prince of Wales to T.E. Lawrence, the real-life Lawrence of Arabia.

& Taylor

A social history of the first two years in Britain following World War I includes coverage of topics ranging from surgeon Harold Gillies skin-grafting development and the passage of the women's vote to the state funeral of the Unknown Soldier and dawn of the Jazz Age. By the best-selling author of The Perfect Summer.

Publisher: New York : Grove Press : Distributed by Publishers Group West, c2009
Edition: 1st American ed
ISBN: 0802119441
Branch Call Number: 941.083 N
Characteristics: xvi, 302 p., [16] p. of plates : ill. ; 24 cm.


From Library Staff

A follow-up to The Perfect Summer which depicts the years immediately following the war, England’s attempt to deal with the horror of all the dead and wounded, social upheaval, and the emergence of the Jazz Age.

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Aug 17, 2014
  • athompson10 rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

This book is a series of anecdotes strung together to illustrate Britain for two years after the Armistice in 1918. This is not an academic work but "history lite."


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