© 2018

Memories from the Frontline

Memoirs and Meanings of The Great War from Britain, France and Germany

  • Offers an understanding of a group of texts that have been relatively little subjected to literary analysis

  • Examines the forms of composition of the books – their ‘textual strategies’ – in relationship to the original contemporary public response to them in order to see what features of the writing were considered valuable and why, in their original context of reception

  • Offers a generalised analysis of the relationship between memoir writing and literary form


Part of the Palgrave Studies in Life Writing book series (PSLW)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Jerry Palmer
    Pages 1-20
  3. The Outline of Great War Writings

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 21-21
    2. Jerry Palmer
      Pages 23-48
    3. Jerry Palmer
      Pages 49-68
    4. Jerry Palmer
      Pages 69-89
  4. Britain

  5. France

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 141-141
    2. Jerry Palmer
      Pages 143-152
    3. Jerry Palmer
      Pages 191-200
  6. Germany

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 201-201
    2. Jerry Palmer
      Pages 241-257
    3. Jerry Palmer
      Pages 259-284

About this book


This book analyses soldiers’ memoirs from the Great War of 1914-18 from Britain, France and Germany.   It considers both the authors’ composition of the memoirs and the public response to them. It provides contextual analysis through a survey of the different types of contemporary writing about the Great War, through an analysis of changes in the language used to describe combat, and through an analysis of those people whose accounts of the war were either excluded or marginalised. It also considers the international response to the most successful of the texts. The purpose of the analysis is to show how soldiers’ memoirs contributed to the collective memory of the war and how they influenced public opinion about the war. These texts are both autobiographical and historical and their relationship to the fields of autobiography and historical writing is also considered, as well as to the distinction between fact and fiction.


Soldiers WWI Life writing Biography Autobiography

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.LondonUnited Kingdom

About the authors

Jerry Palmer is the former Professor of Communications at London Metropolitan University, UK and Visiting Professor of Sociology at City University. He is the author of six other books and many scholarly articles about popular culture and the mass media.

Bibliographic information