Edith Cavell and her Legend

  • Christine E. Hallett

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Christine E. Hallett
    Pages 1-5
  3. Christine E. Hallett
    Pages 7-38
  4. Christine E. Hallett
    Pages 39-79
  5. Christine E. Hallett
    Pages 81-114
  6. Christine E. Hallett
    Pages 115-119
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 121-137

About this book


This book examines the myriad identities and portrayals of Edith Cavell, as they have been constructed and handed down by propagandists, biographers and artists.  Cavell was first introduced to the British public through a series of Foreign Office statements which claimed to establish the “facts” of her case.  Her own voice, along with those of her family, colleagues and friends, were muted, as a monolithic image of a national heroine and martyr emerged.  The book identifies two main areas of tension in her commemoration: firstly, the contrast between complexity of her own behaviour and motivations and the simplicity of the “Cavell Legend” that was constructed around her; and, secondly, the mismatch between the attempts of individuals and professional organisations to commemorate her life and work, and the public construction of a “heroine” who could be of value to the nation state.


nursing history women's history first world war pacifism wartime propaganda

Authors and affiliations

  • Christine E. Hallett
    • 1
  1. 1.Professor of HistoryThe University of HuddersfieldHuddersfieldUK

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2019
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Pivot, London
  • eBook Packages History
  • Print ISBN 978-1-137-54370-7
  • Online ISBN 978-1-137-54371-4
  • Buy this book on publisher's site