Jalland’s Study of Death and Grief in England

Pat Jalland,  in https://global.oup.com/academic/product/death-in-war-and-peace-9780199265510?cc=au&lang=en&where the title is: “Death in War and Peace. A  History of Loss and Grief in England, 1914-1970”

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Death in War and Peace is the first detailed historical study of experience of death, grief, and mourning in England in the fifty years after 1914. In it Professor Jalland explores the complex shift from a culture where death was accepted and grief was openly expressed before 1914, to one of avoidance and silence by the 1940s and thereafter.  The two world wars had a profound and cumulative impact on the prolonged process of change in attitudes to death in England. The inter-war generation grew up in a bleak atmosphere of mass mourning for the dead soldiers of the Great War, and the Second World War created an even deeper break with the past, as a pervasive model of silence about death and suppressed grieving became entrenched in the nation’s psyche.
Stories drawn from letters and diaries show us how death and loss were experienced by individuals and families in England from 1914; and how the attitudes, responses, and rituals of death and grieving varied with gender, religion, class, and region. The growing medicalization and hospitalization of death from the 1950s further reinforced the growing culture of silence about death, as it moved from the care of the family to that of hospitals, doctors, and undertakers.

These silences about death still linger today, despite a further cultural shift since the 1970s towards greater emotional expressiveness. This fascinating study of death and bereavement helps us to understand the present as well as the past.

Table of Contents

Introduction
Part I: War and Peace 1914-1939
1: Death, the Great War and the influenza pandemic
2: Violet Cecil and communities in mourning
3: The Bickersteths’ sacred pilgrimages to the Great War Cemeteries, 1919-1931
4: Death, disasters and rituals among the northern working classes, 1919-39
5: Sir Sydney Cockerell: cremation and the modern way of death in England
Part II: The Second World War
6: The people’s war: Death in the blitz
7: Missing airmen and families in anguish: ‘There could be no mourning’
8: Experiences of wartime grief
Part III: A changing culture of death and loss since 1945
9: Hidden death: Medicine and care of the dying, 1945 to 1970
10: Widowhood, grief and old age 1945-1963
11: Gorer’s map of death: Declining rituals and prolonged sorrow, 1963
12: Observing grief: C.S. Lewis and the psychiatrists
13: Epilogue: Change and continuity since the 1970s

Pat Jalland, Professor of History, Australian National University

REVIEWS

“An important historical contribution to the study of death and an informative account of how a country has handled far-reaching social challenge and change… Death in War and Peace succeeds in negotiating the gulf between scholarly and non-scholarly terrains, and for this Jalland must be commended.” – Kate Woodthorpe, Times Higher Education

“Scholarly enterprise and historical flair have enabled Professor Jalland to rise above the limitations of the material… Death in War and Peace provides us with fresh, imaginative perspectives and compelling detail.” – Paul Addison, Times Literary Supplement

“Jalland writes with the authority of a scholar who has spent many years researching her subject. This is a fine survey of a neglected topic, and it will surely remain as the standard work in the field for many years.” – Adrian Bingham, English Historical Review

“This book is an important contribution to understanding how attitudes to death changed in the twentieth century.” – Julie-Marie Strange, American Historical Review

“This is a fascinating and much needed study.” – James Munson, Contemporary Review

“Jalland judiciously weaves detailed individual case studies with government reports, statistics, newspaper accounts and diaries. The book is a fine contribution to the analysis of death and grief in modern Britain.” – Joanna Bourke, Journal of Social History

“impressive and highly readable work” – Glennys Howarth, Social History of Medicine

   ALSO SEE

Laura Parker: African Elephants mourn a Matriarch’s Death,” 1 September 2016, https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2016/09/01/african-elephants-mourn-a-matriarch-elephants-death/and http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/08/elephants-mourning-video-animal-grief/

Pat Jalland: Death in War and Peace. A History of Loss and Grief in England, 1914-1970, Oxford University Press, 2010 …. ISBN-10: 0199265518 …ISBN-13: 978-0199265510

John Bowker: The Meaning of Death. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1991.

Dagmar Hellmann-Rajanayagam: “‘And Heroes Die’: Poetry of the Tamil Liberation Movement in Northern Sri Lanka,” South Asia, 2005, vol. 28/1: 112–153.

V. Kailasapathy: Tamil Heroic Poetry. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1968.

Bruce Kapferer: The Feast of the Sorcerer: Practices of Consciousness and Power. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1997.

Christiana Natali: “Building Cemeteries, Constructing Identities: Funerary Practices and Nationalist Discourse among the Tamil Tigers of Sri Lanka,”Contemporary South Asia, 2008, vol. 16/3: 287-301.

Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney: Kamikaze, Cherry Blossoms, and Nationalisms: The Militarization of Aesthetics in Japanese History, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002.

Rajam, K. South Indian Memorial Stones, Thanjavur: Manoo Pathikam,

Michael Roberts: “Self-immolation.” Lanka Monthly Digest  2000, 6, no. 2: 56–57.

Michael Roberts: “Tamil Tiger ‘Martyrs’: Regenerating Divine Potency?”Studies in Conflict and Terrorism 2005, 28/6: 493–514.

 Michael Roberts: “Saivite Symbols, Sacrifice, and Tamil Tiger Rites,” Social Analysis 2005, 49: 67–93.

Michael Roberts: “Pragmatic Action & Enchanted Worlds: A Black Tiger Rite of  Commemoration,” Social Analysis 2006, 50: 73-102.

Michael Roberts: “Suicide Missions as Witnessing: Expansions, Contrasts,”Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, October 2007, vol. 30/10: 857-88.

Michael Roberts: “Self Annihilation — Tamil Tigers and Beyond:Cultural Premises inspiring Sacrificial Suicidal Acts,”  in Roberts, Fire and Storm, Colombo, Vijitha Yapa Publications, 2010, 161-201.

Michael Roberts: “Killing Rajiv Gandhi: Dhanu’s Metamorphosis in Death?”South Asian History and Culture 2009, 1/1: 25-41….http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19472490903387191 and ….https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2010/01/06/killing-rajiv-gandhi-dhanus-sacrificial-met-in-death/

Michael Roberts: “Selfless Sacrifice and Living Gods among the Tamil Tigers,”Colombo Telegraph 12 June 2014,https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/selfless-sacrifice-and-living-gods-among-the-tamil-tigers/

Michael Roberts: “Encompassing Encirclement in Ritual, War and Assassination: Tantric Principles in Tamil Tiger Instrumentalities,” 28 Feb. 2016,https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2016/02/28/encompassing-empowerment-in-ritual-war-and-assassination/ … being reprint of article in Douglas Farrer (ed.)War Magic, Social Analysis, 2014, vol 58/1

Michael Roberts & Arthur Saniotis: “Empowering the Body and Noble Death” for Social Analysis, Spring 2006 50: 7-24, introducing articles by Douglas Farrer, Marie Lecomte-Tilouine, Michael Roberts and Jacob Copeman.

Ivan Strenski: “Sacrifice, Gift and the Social Logic of Muslim Human Bombers.” Terrorism and Political Violence 2003, 15: 1–34.

Peter Schalk: “Resistance and Martyrdom in the Process of State Formation of Tamililam.” In Joyce Pettigrew (ed.) Martyrdom and Political Resistance, Amsterdam: VU Press. 1997, pp. 61-84

Peter Schalk: “Beyond Hindu Festivals: The Celebration of Great Heroes’ Day by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Europe.” in Martin Baumann, Brigitte Luchesi, and Annette Wilke eds.) Tempel und Tamilien in Zweiter Heimat, Wurzburg: Ergon Verlag. 2003, pp. 391–411.

S. Settar, and G. D. Sontheimer (eds.) Memorial Stones. Dharwad: Institute of Indian Art History, 1982.

Uwe Siemon-Netto “A Goddess and Lucky Numbers Are Allies in Sri Lanka War: The Tamil Tigers’ Elusive Leader Is a Devotee of the Hindu Goddess Kali, but Not the Figure 8,” United Press, 12 August 2002.

V. Soundara Rajan: “Origin and Spread of Memorial Stones in Tamil-Nadu.” in S. Settar and G. D. Sontheimer (eds.) Memorial Stones, Dharwad: Institute ofIndian Art History, 1982, pp. 59–76.

S. J. Tambiah: Magic, Science, Religion, and the Scope of Rationality, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990.

 Jerome Young: “Morals, Suicide, and Psychiatry: A View from Japan,”Bioethics, 2002, vol. 2: 412–424.

 

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1 Comment

Filed under accountability, cultural transmission, economic processes, heritage, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, meditations, religiosity, self-reflexivity, trauma, war reportage, women in ethnic conflcits, world events & processes

One response to “Jalland’s Study of Death and Grief in England

  1. Thank you Mike for the absorbing synopsis of Jalland’s study of Death and Grief in England.
    It is fascinating to see how the cultural ,religious and ethical attitudes towards death and grieving, shifted from the overtly expressed traditional forms observed during Victorian times, to the internalized, stoical silences that came to be the norm, following the widespread and catastrophic deaths of young Englishmen during the 1st and the 2nd World Wars . I am sending this to a select few who are likely to be interested in this kind of study.–Comment from my pal Chandra Wickremasinghe via email

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