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dc.contributor.authorCleary, James
dc.description.abstractIn his introduction to Eric Partridge’s little-known classic of the First World War, Frank Honywood, Private, Geoffrey Serle comments: < the First AIF [Australian Imperial Force], a volunteer citizen’s army as no other was, was made up of a near cross section of Australian society by class, religion and education – mechanics, clerks, farmers and laborers, Protestant and Catholics, state and ‘public’ school products, predominantly conventional, more or less Christian products of their time. It had its full small-minority share also of intellectual ‘sensitives’.1 > Among the latter were the future lexicographer Partridge, the novelist Martin Boyd, the educationalist Kenneth Stewart Cunningham and the barrister William Albert Amiet. The First World War thus provides a useful laboratory for examining the literacy and reading tastes of the generation that grew to adulthood in the decades before 1914. Despite this, as Amanda Laugesen has noted, 'all too rarely are the soldiers themselves placed at the centre of study, with soldier culture remaining a field that requires further investigation'. 2 She goes on to claim that < Australian soldiers proved to be prolific readers and writers - they read a vast range of printed material from newspapers and letters from home, to popular novels and scientific textbooks .... Fiction provided a much-needed element of escapism and solace for soldiers. For the most part soldiers read the novels of the popular authors of the pre-1914 period. 3 > Australian publications provided links to home and both The Bulletin and the poetry of C. J. Dennis were enormously popular. If Australians were a nation of readers prior to the war, the hunger for information about the war's progress and then for distraction as the casualty lists were published only intensified this practice. The Sydney Morning Herald (6 July 1918), reflecting on the early days of war, commented that 'the public, indiscriminating but enthusiastic, read as it had never read before, and formed a taste for reading which helped it later on ... Nowadays there are fewer books published but there are more readers.'4 Joseph McAleer lends credence to the argument that the war increased reading and introduced new readers to the recreational pleasures of fiction in Britain.5 Jonathan Wild goes further and argues that John O'London's Weekly was pitched towards 'the new reading public' after the war, one that required guidance about 'good books'.6
dc.publisherPalgrave Macmillan
dc.publisher.placeUnited Kingdom
dc.relation.ispartofbooktitleReading and the First World War: Readers, Texts, Archives
dc.subject.fieldofresearchCultural Studies not elsewhere classified
dc.titleWilliam Albert Amiet, Barrister-at-Law, M.A., Reads His Way through the Great War
dc.typeBook chapter
dc.type.descriptionB1 - Chapters
dc.type.codeB - Book Chapters
gro.facultyArts, Education & Law Group, School of Humanities, Languages and Social Science
gro.hasfulltextNo Full Text
gro.griffith.authorCleary, James T.

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