Fourteen years before the RMS Titanic hit an iceberg and sank in the Atlantic Ocean on April 15th 1912, a man named Morgan Robertson wrote a novella called Futility. The fictitious story was about the world’s largest ocean liner – called ‘Titan’ and believed to be ‘unsinkable’ – that hit an iceberg one April night and sank in the Atlantic. Like the Titanic, Titan lacked enough lifeboats for every passenger on board and, like the Titanic, most of her passengers died in the disaster.
…in 1940 the Blitz began. The night of September 7th was the first of fifty-seven consecutive nights of bombing across London and the UK by German bombers.In all, the ‘lightening war’ lasted for eight months, and was ultimately a strategic failure … Continue reading →
… in 1916, the Battle of the Somme began. Lasting until 18th November 1916, it was the largest battle of the First World War on the Western Front and saw more than a million men wounded or killed. It remains one of the bloodiest battles in human history.
… in 1940, the Battle of Britain began. This was the first major battle to be fought solely in the air. Lasting from July to October, defeat would have meant the invasion of Britain and a very different conclusion to the Second World War. Instead, the allies’ victory marked a significant turning point in the war.
Thirteen days before her execution, Anne Boleyn is believed to have written this letter to her husband, King Henry VIII of England. While the authenticity of this letter is still up for debate, the passion and personality of the writing certainly suggests it could have been written by Anne. Contemporaries noted with awe (and perhaps a little horror) how she was not afraid to stand up to the King. While this undoubtedly originally drew Henry to her, it was also something he soon grew tired of when she was unable to provide him with a male heir. It’s no wonder, really, that Henry’s next wife was the meek and mild Jane Seymore, as far removed from the feisty Anne as you could possibly get.
While wartime films did open up passage of gender exploration for both film-makers and audiences, the war itself meant that the discourse could not be as radical or far-reaching as some might have hoped. For the sake of both national … Continue reading →
The question of female identity inevitably encouraged both film-makers and audiences to explore ideas of masculinity, in particular the relationship between heroism and men in non-combatant roles. If men had to fight to prove their masculinity, what did that mean … Continue reading →