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War and Memory

LSE Language Centre Literary Festival discussion

Date:  Wednesday 26 February 2014 
Time: 4.30-6pm
Venue: Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building
Speakers: Richard Ormond, Rachel Wagstaff

The First World War is arguably the first major conflict to have been waged after the advent of mass levels of literacy with the Education Act of 1870. While literature produced by combatants in the Napoleonic, Crimean and Boer wars is relatively modest in volume, there is a veritable plethora, especially of poetry, from 1914-1918. By contrast dramatic and prose responses to the Great War largely came somewhat later, and, with the exception of Ford’s Parade’s End (1922-1927), were most commonly in the form of non-fictional memoirs, such as those of Graves and Sassoon. The image created through words also forms an instructive contrast with the work of leading visual artists of the day, perhaps most notably Sargent’s iconic Gassed, and Nash’s scenes of the trenches. More recently still, there has been a major resurgence of literary interest in the First World War, now benefiting from hindsight, and revealing aspects of the fighting which went undepicted during the lifetime of the survivors.

This panel will discuss the differing imperatives of the historian and the creative artist in response to the First World War.

Richard Ormond is an art historian, co-author of theJohn Singer Sargent Catalogue Raisonné, and former director of the National Maritime Museum.  

Rachel Wagstaff is author of the play The Soldier, and adapter of Sebastian Faulks' Birdsong for the West End stage.

Update, Tuesday 25 February: Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, Dan Todman will no longer be speaking as part of this event.

This event forms part of LSE Space for Thought Literary Festival 2014, taking place from Monday 24 February - Saturday 1 March 2014, with the theme 'Reflections'.

Suggested hashtag for this event for Twitter users: #LSElitfest


A podcast of this event is available to download from War and Memory

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This event has been certified for CPD purposes by the CPD Certification Service. Self-Assessment Record forms will be made available for delegates wishing to record further learning and knowledge enhancement for Continuing Personal and Professional Development (CPD) purposes. For delegates who wish to obtain a CPD Certificate of Attendance, it is the responsibility of delegates to register their details with a LSE steward at the end of the event and as of 1 September 2014 a certificate will be sent within 28 days of the date of the event attended by the CPD Certification Service.  If a delegate fails to register their details at the event, it will not prove possible to issue a certificate. (For queries relating to CPD Certificates of attendance after a request please phone 0208 840 4383 or email info@cpduk.co.uk).

LSE Literary Festival 2014