Pacifism and The Great War in Dame Rose Macaulay's Three Days
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The First World War is often remembered today for muddy trenches, large-scale slaughter and bitter, shell-shocked veterans. This incomplete, but popular picture is largely inspired by the poetry and prose written during and after the war. Just as public opinion about the war shifted from unbridled enthusiasm in 1914 to weariness and calls for peace by late 1916, so too did the tone of popular poetry, particularly that written by soldiers. Rose Macaulay’s Three Days (1919) is an overlooked collection of Great War poems and contains early wartime examples of pacifist poetry written by a civilian. This thesis examines Macaulay’s select poems within Three Days and argues that her work deserves greater acknowledgement as part of the canon of Great War poetry.