Heather JonesMay 3, 2022
For King and Country
The British Monarchy and the First World War
Cambridge University Press 2021
For King and Country: The British Monarchy and the First World War (Cambridge UP, 2021) is a ground-breaking history of the British monarchy in the First World War and of the social and cultural functions of monarchism in the British war effort. Heather Jones examines how the conflict changed British cultural attitudes to the monarchy, arguing that the conflict ultimately helped to consolidate the crown's sacralised status. She looks at how the monarchy engaged with war recruitment, bereavement, gender norms, as well as at its political and military powers and its relationship with Ireland and the empire. She considers the role that monarchism played in military culture and examines royal visits to the front, as well as the monarchy's role in home front morale and in interwar war commemoration. Her findings suggest that the rise of republicanism in wartime Britain has been overestimated and that war commemoration was central to the monarchy's revered interwar status up to the abdication crisis. In short, this is very much the work that master-historian David Stevenson accurately notes: "sheds new light on crucial aspects of the British (and Irish) experience between 1914 and 1918". In short, For King and Country is a must read book.
Charles Coutinho Ph. D. of the Royal Historical Society, received his doctorate from New York University. His area of specialization is 19th and 20th-century European, American diplomatic and political history. He has written for Chatham House’s International Affairs, the Institute of Historical Research's Reviews in History and the University of Rouen's online periodical Cercles.