In the political sphere women had spent much of the 1920s and early 1930s making war on war. The cause of peace and the internationalist orientation gave form and substance to women’s politics, and also politicized a wide swath of the female population that might otherwise have been preoccupied with local and domestic concerns. One need only look at the Women’s Peace Pilgrimage of 1926 when 10,000 women from all over the country marched, culminating in a great demonstration against war and for disarmament in Hyde Park; the consistent work of the Women’s Peace Crusade; how Labour, Communist, and Liberal women came together to organize ‘peace weeks;’ and the millions of women’s signatures amassed for anti- militarist petitions. In particular, by the mid-1920s and into the early 1930s disarmament became a rallying point for women’s activism. As Ethel Mannin recalled, “pacifism was all the rage. It really did seem like that—a craze.”1 However, this powerful narrative of the unity of women with peace was critiqued and gradually rewritten under the pressure of international crises in the course of the ‘Devil’s Decade.’ “The whole European situation had been altered by the change-over in this one country [Germany] from a Liberal democracy to a dictatorship,”2


Foreign Policy British Woman Relief Work Woman Prisoner Peace Movement 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Ethel Mannin, Young in the Twenties (London, 1971), p. 165.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Storm Jameson, “The Twilight of Reason,” in Philip Noel Baker (ed.), A Challenge to Death (London, 1934), p. 6.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    Richard Overy, The Morbid Age: Britain and the Crisis of Civilization, 1919–1939 (London, 2009), p. 370.Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    Mary Agnes Hamilton, Remembering My Good Friends (London, 1944), p. 288.Google Scholar
  5. 6.
    Michele Haapanki, “Writers in Arms and the Just War: The Spanish Civil War, Literary Activism and Leftist Masculinity,” Left History, 10(2), 2005, pp. 33–52.Google Scholar
  6. 8.
    See Julie V. Gottlieb, “‘The Women’s Movement Took the Wrong Turning:’ British Feminists, Pacifism and the Politics of Appeasement,” Women’s History Review, 23(3), June, 2014, pp. 441–462.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 12.
    See Julie V. Gottlieb, “Varieties of Feminist Anti-Fascism,” in Nigel Copsey and Andrzej Olechnowicz (eds), Varieties of Anti-Fascism: Britain in the Inter-war Period (Basingstoke, 2010), pp. 101–118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 13.
    See M. Ceadel, “Pacifism versus Pacificism,” in Nigel J. Young (ed.), The Oxford International Encyclopaedia of Peace (New York, 2010), pp. 323–325.Google Scholar
  9. 18.
    Matt Perry, “In Search of ‘Red Ellen’ Wilkinson Beyond Frontiers and Beyond the Nation State,” International Review of Social History 58(2), 2013, pp. 219–246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 19.
    Monica Whately, Honorary Secretary, Six Point Group, “The Status of Women,” Time and Tide, 28 October, 1937.Google Scholar
  11. Sunday, 6 January 1935) in Anne Olivier Bell (ed.), The Diary of Virginia Woolf: Vol. IV: 1931–1935 (London, 1982), p. 273.Google Scholar
  12. 22.
    See Julie V. Gottlieb, “Feminism and Anti-fascism in Britain: Militancy Revived,” in N. Copsey and D. Renton (eds), British Fascism, the Labour Movement and the State (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2005), pp. 68–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 24.
    Edward Conze, “Atrocity Propaganda,” Left Forum, No. 31, April, 1939, pp. 68–71.Google Scholar
  14. 28.
    Monica Whately, “Elsie Evert and Olga Prestes,” Time and Tide, 21 November, 1936.Google Scholar
  15. 31.
    Monica Whately, Honorary Secretary, Six Point Group, Manchester Guardian, 3 September, 1937.Google Scholar
  16. 36.
    Linda Walker, “Whately, Monica (1889–1960),” ODNB (2004) http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/63900.Google Scholar
  17. 37.
    Susan Pedersen, Eleanor Rathbone and the Politics of Conscience, (Newhaven and London, 2004) p. 271.Google Scholar
  18. 39.
    See Petra Rau, “The Fascist Body Beautiful and the Imperial Crisis in 1930s British Writing,” Journal of European Studies, 39(1), March, 2009, pp. 5–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 43.
    See David Caute, Fellow Travellers: Intellectual Friends of Communism (London, 1973);Google Scholar
  20. Paul Fussell, Abroad: Literary Travelling Between the Wars (New York, 1980);Google Scholar
  21. Richard Griffiths, Fellow Travellers of the Right: British Enthusiasts for Nazi Germany, 1933–1939 (London, 1980).Google Scholar
  22. 44.
    Norman Angell, “Holidays Under the Volcano,” Foreign Affairs, Incorporated into Time and Tide, 7 August, 1937.Google Scholar
  23. 45.
    Bernard Schweizer, Radicals on the Road: The Politics of English Travel Writing in the 1930s (Virginia, 2001), p. 2.Google Scholar
  24. 46.
    See Helen McCarthy, “Petticoat Diplomacy: The Admission of Women to the British Foreign Service, c. 1919–1946,” Twentieth Century British History, 20(3), 2009, pp. 285–321.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 49.
    Shirley Harrison, Sylvia Pankhurst: A Crusading Life, 1882–1960 (London, 2003), p. 242.Google Scholar
  26. 50.
    Katherine Atholl, Rachel Crowdy, Eleanor Rathbone, and Ellen Wilkinson, “Report of Our Visit to Spain” (April, 1937).Google Scholar
  27. 54.
    See Helen Jones, “National, Community and Personal Priorities: British Women’s Responses to Refugees from the Nazis, from the Mid-1930s to the Early 1940s,” Women’s History Review, 21(1), 2012, pp. 121–151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 56.
    Letter from Vera Brittain to Winifred Holtby, 19 May, 1934, in Vera Brittain and Geoffrey Handley-Taylor (eds), Selected Letters of Winifred Holtby and Vera Brittain (London, 1960).Google Scholar
  29. 58.
    Evelyn Sharpe, “The Panoply of Peace: Unimaginative Pacifism,” Manchester Guardian, 22 March, 1933.Google Scholar
  30. 59.
    Winifred Holtby, “A Woman Looks at the News,” News Chronicle, 26 May, 1934.Google Scholar
  31. 62.
    See Maroula Joannou, ‘Ladies, Please Don’t Smash These Windows:’ Women’s Writing, Feminist Consciousness and Social Change 1918–1938 (Oxford, 1995);Google Scholar
  32. Phyllis Lassner, British Women Writers of World War II: Battlegrounds of Their Own (New York, 1998).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 64.
    Winifred Holtby, “Black Words for Women Only,” Clarion, 24 May, 1934.Google Scholar
  34. 66.
    Thelma Cazalet Keir, From the Wings (London, 1967), p. 134.Google Scholar
  35. 67.
    Bosley Crowther, “The Screen: ‘The Mortal Storm,’ a deeply tragic Anti-Nazi Film,” New York Times, 21 June, 1940.Google Scholar
  36. 68.
    Alexis Pogorelskin, “Phyllis Bottome’s The Mortal Storm: Film and Controversy,” The Space Between, 6(1), 2010, pp. 39–58.Google Scholar
  37. See also Pam Hirsch, “Authorship and Propaganda: Phyllis Bottome and the Making of The Mortal Storm, (1940),” Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, 32(1), March, 2012, pp. 57–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 69.
    Winifred Holtby, Woman and a Changing Civilization (London, 1934), p. 4.Google Scholar
  39. 71.
    Helen McCarthy, The British People and the League of Nations (Manchester, 2011), p. 190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 73.
    Vera Brittain, “Peace and the Public Mind,” Noel Baker (eds), Challenge to Death (London, 1934), p. 46.Google Scholar
  41. 74.
    See Zara Steiner, “On Writing International History: Chaps, Maps and Much More,” International Affairs, 73 (3), July, 1997, pp. 531–546.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 75.
    Jeremy Lewis, Penguin Special: The Life and Times of Allen Lane (London, 2006), p. 135.Google Scholar
  43. 76.
    Shiela Grant Duff, The Parting of Ways: A Personal Account of the Thirties (London, 1982), p. 96.Google Scholar
  44. 77.
    Elizabeth Wiskemann, The Europe I Saw (London, 1968), p. 84.Google Scholar
  45. 79.
    Grant Duff, The Parting of Ways, p. 79.Google Scholar
  46. 80.
    Dan Stone, “The ‘Mein Kampf Ramp:’ Emily Overend Lorimer and Hitler Translations in Britain,” German History, 26 (4), 2008, pp. 504–519.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 83.
    Quoted in Ethel Mannin, Women and the Revolution (London, 1938), p. 203.Google Scholar
  48. 88.
    Oliver Baldwin, “A Farewell to Liberty,” Daily Herald, 14 June, 1933.Google Scholar
  49. 91.
    Naomi Mitchison, Home and a Changing Civilization (London, 1934), pp. 104–105.Google Scholar
  50. 92.
    Rebecca West, “The Necessity and Grandeur of the International Idea,” in Philip Noel Baker (ed.), A Challenge to Death (London, 1934), p. 251.Google Scholar
  51. 93.
    Virginia Woolf, Three Guineas (London, 1938), p. 102.Google Scholar
  52. 94.
    Ray Strachey, “Changes in Employment,” in Ray Strachey (ed.), Our Freedom and its Results (London, 1936), p. 153.Google Scholar
  53. 97.
    On the cleavages in anti-fascist mobilization on the left see Nigel Copsey, Anti-Fascism in Britain (Basingstoke, 2000);CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. N. Copsey and A. Olechnowicz (eds.), Varieties of Anti-Fascism: Britain in the Inter-war Period (Basingstoke, 2010);Google Scholar
  55. Geoff Eley, Forging Democracy: The History of the Left in Europe, 1850–2000 (Oxford, 2002), especially Chapter 12, “The Politics of Gender;”Google Scholar
  56. Kevin Morgan, Against Fascism and War: Ruptures and Continuities in British Communist Politics, 1935–1941 (Manchester, 1989)Google Scholar
  57. Andrew Thorpe, The British Communist Party and Moscow (Manchester, 2000).Google Scholar
  58. 98.
    See Martin Ceadel, Semi-detached Idealists: The British Peace Movement and International Relations, 1854–1945(Oxford, 2000);CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. David Cortright, Peace: A History of Movements and Ideas (Cambridge, 2008).CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Julie V. Gottlieb 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julie V. Gottlieb
    • 1
  1. 1.University of SheffieldUK

Personalised recommendations