My doctoral research has developed out of my longstanding interest in how writers of the interwar period represented both their experiences of war and its aftermath. In 2017 I won a College Undergraduate Research Scholarship to work with Dr David Griffith on the reception of war plays written during the so-called War Books Boom (1928-1932). The Scholarship introduced me to the theatre and WW1 collections at the University of Birmingham, the British Library and the Imperial War Museum. It allowed me to begin to perceive the bias Journey’s End continues to receive in academic and public discussions about theatre of the war. My ability to successfully use archival research to inform discussions on aspects of the war in drama and life writing of the 1920s and early 1930s led to me receiving firsts in three final-year projects, and contributed to my overall first.
At MA level I extended my interests into literature of the inter-war period with essays on modernism and interwar publishing history, and a dissertation on the fiction of Rose Macaulay (1881-1958). My dissertation advanced current academic attempts to illuminate Macaulay’s centrality to inter-war English literature and culture. It explored how six of Macaulay’s novels, published between 1916-1926, can be seen as aids to help readers decipher contemporary political debates by translating governmental bills and acts into a more accessible and engaging format and in doing so encouraged readers to reflect upon the ethics of political propositions. This was awarded a distinction and led to the achievement of an overall distinction in my MA.