My previous work constitutes the first critical study of the Yorkshire writer Margaret Storm Jameson. Entitled War, Nation and Europe in the Novels of Storm Jameson it is a recovery of Storm Jameson as a war writer. Despite Jameson’s prolific literary career – she wrote forty-eight novels, three autobiographies and an array of journalism, her popularity as a writer during the early and mid-twentieth century and her political campaigning as President of English P.E.N. (Poets, Essayists and Novelists) Club during World War Two – many people have never have heard of her.
With this project, I sought to recuperate Jameson’s work by tracing her shift from an insular and Anglo-centric pacifism in her early novels such as 1937’s The Moon is Making, to a pro-war stance by 1940’s Europe to Let. I work through existing studies which have asserted that British writing in and around World War Two was insular or inward-looking, that it was concerned largely with Britishness and British experience, to suggest an alternative reading of the literature of the period.
Instead, I argue that Jameson’s writing represents a look outward defined by her very clear sense, as a Yorkshirewoman, of regional, rather than national identity. I discuss how her sense of herself as a European led to a desire to use her writing to represent the experiences of countries from Czechoslovakia to Germany, France to Hungary in order to make the case for war and later, for peace.
You can read more about Storm Jameson on my blog.