, Research Paper
Literature and Warfare of Great Britain
Great Britain was the home of many famous people during the early part of the twentieth century. Many of these famous people were associated with literature. Great Britain was also the setting of a few tragedies during that time period. One of these tragic occurrences was World War I. Sir Winston Churchill, World War I, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle helped shape the British landscape, both figuratively and literally, during the early years of the twentieth century.
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill was a key figurehead in the British and Allied Power victory in World War I. In 1911, Churchill was appointed first lord of the admiralty. He reorganized the navy, developed antisubmarine tactics, and modernized the fleet states Thompson. During World War I, Churchill joined the British army in France in November 1915. Churchill was appointed to the position of minister of munitions in July 1917. He promoted the production of the tank while he was in the admiralty (Thompson 547-549). However, Churchill did much more than just participate in World War I.
Churchill was not only a world leader, he was also a writer and a historian. An astute observer of military campaigns and geopolitical affairs, Churchill’s early writing documents his participation in several international military interventions at the turn of the century . The books that he wrote were mainly flashbacks of his early visits to foreign lands. Churchill was captured during the Boer War in 1899. He escaped from a South African prison during 1899. This led him to write one of his autobiographies, My African Journey, in 1908. He also wrote another autobiography, My Early Life, written in 1930. My Early Life was later reprinted as A Roving Commission. The World Crisis was his first major historical study. The World Crisis sums up the strategic military tactics of Great Britain during World War I. As historian Manfred Weidborn notes, My Early Life represents the usual Churchillian melange of autobiography, apologia, general history, and selected documents; of impersonal autobiography and personal history. ” Churchill also won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1953. The Student Research Center states it best in these words, Churchill s literary reputation rests largely upon his works of military history ( Winston ).
Great Britain was deeply involved in World War I. Great Britain, France, and Russia formed the Triple Entente or the Allied Powers. The United States later joined the war effort against the enemies. The Triple Alliance, or Central Powers, consisted of Germany, Austria-Hungary, and until 1915, Italy. The beginning of World War I started when a Serbian nationalist assassinated Archduke Francis Ferdinand of Austria in 1914. A month later, World War I began (Athearn 3-6).
Many accusations were fired off by both the Allied and Central Powers. Great Britain claimed that Germany was breaking international laws by using their U-boats in the oceans. Germany, however, responded by claiming that Great Britain was guilty of using neutral country s flags to disguise their own ships. The British liner Lusitania was sunk by a German U-boat on May 7, 1915 (Athearn 7-8). After the sinking of the Lusitania, the Americans joined the war on the side of the Allied Powers.
After America joined the war, the advantage swung in favor of the Allied Powers. Russia had problems with their own revolution, so Germany easily defeated them. America helped turn the tide against the Central Powers after Russia had been defeated. World War I ended with the Allies winning the war. There were many casualties during the war, although the Central Powers had many more dead soldiers than did the Allies. The Treaty of Paris was signed in 1921 to formally end World War I (Stalling 55-62).
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote many types of stories, although many people recognize him only as the author of the detective fiction series, Sherlock Holmes. Doyle used the previous works of Edgar Allan Poe and Emile Gaboriau to form his own version of detective fiction (Cox 125). States Cox, Although he wrote many other pieces of literature, his stories based on Sherlock Holmes were the ones that were read the most (131). The editors at the Student Research Center put it best in their words by saying, Although, as Ivor Brown has noted, there was far more in Doyle’s literary life than the invention of his fascinating and volatile detective, it is as the creator of Sherlock Holmes that Doyle is remembered ( Arthur ).
Doyle planned on killing Sherlock during his early life, but many of his readers told him to change his mind and keep him around (Cox 132). Doyle killed off Holmes in 1893 in The Final Problem ( Arthur ). Sherlock was involved in a fight with Dr. Moriarity at a waterfall, during which Sherlock fell over the cliff at the waterfall. Doyle killed off Holmes in the late 1890 s. He also wrote a few other books that contained Holmes, after Holmes death. However, Doyle wrote these books in such a fashion that the action occurred before Holmes died. Watson, Holmes assistant, was the narrator in Sherlock s last few books (Cox 135-137). Many of the Sherlock Holmes followers were deeply saddened to read about the death of Sherlock Holmes.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle also did things in literature that did not involve Sherlock Holmes. He spoke about spiritualism throughout Europe, Australia, the United States, and Canada. Arthur Conan Doyle was knighted and became Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in 1902 ( Arthur ). The Student Research Center summed up Doyle s writings as follows:
In Doyle, all is sharp, worldly, adult, contrasted, memorable and, where needed, sinister. And his imagination of the physical is so rich that he leaves one wondering whether the short story is not, after all, the true form of detective fiction. ( Arthur )
Sir Winston Churchill, World War I, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle were key factors in the development of Great Britain in the early twentieth century. Sir Winston Churchill was a key factor in the Allied Powers victory over the Central Powers. Churchill also wrote many autobiographies about himself to inform others about global happenings. World War I had an impact on Great Britain by defeating Germany and the Central Powers at the cost of many soldiers. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle opened up the genre of detective fiction to the masses of readers in Great Britain. These two famous people and this one tragic war occurred in Great Britain. They are part of why Great Britain is truly great.