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Picture of Laughter and War

Laughter and War

Humorous-Satirical Magazines in Britain, France, Germany and Russia 1914–1918

Author(s): Lesley Milne

Book Description

War is no laughing matter. During a war, however, laughter can play a vital role in sustaining morale, both in the armies at the Front and in their homelands. Among wars, the 1914–18 conflict has left a haunting legacy, and remains a central topic in modern European history. This book offers a comparative study of the impact of the war in four countries, and breaks new ground by exploring this through the medium of what their respective populations laughed at. By searching the pages of four humorous-satirical magazines, Punch in the UK, Le Rire (France), Simplicissimus (Germany), and Novy Satirikon (Russia), all of which supported the national war efforts, it examines the ways in which humour made an important contribution to the propaganda war.

All four magazines were famous for their cartoons, a selection of which is included, but much of the humour was expressed through the written word, in skits, squibs, comic tales, and light verse. Translated into English, these snapshots of the moment are brought together to chart the responses on both sides of the conflict to issues and unfolding events, identifying the stories that nations liked to tell about themselves and also the ones they liked to be told.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-8686-4
ISBN-10: 1-4438-8686-6
Date of Publication: 01/02/2016
Pages / Size: 292 / A5
Price: £47.99


Lesley Milne is Professor Emerita in the School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies at the University of Nottingham. She has published widely in the field of Russian humour and satire, and here extends her range across other European cultures to transmit through their wartime jokes and tales the experience of coping with national crisis.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-9137-0
ISBN-10: 1-4438-9137-1
Date of Publication: 01/08/2017
Pages / Size: 293 / A5
Price: £34.99