Translating Peace: Pacifist Publishing and the Transmission of Foreign Texts

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book


The passing of the Defence of the Realm Act in the first week of World War I signalled the British government’s anxiety about home-front security. A war of information was felt necessary to support the military warfare against Germany: to prevent British intelligence from falling into enemy hands, but also to silence dissenting voices. As the armed combat proliferated, so did the propaganda battles between, on the one hand, a government determined to maximise the war effort, and on the other, an increasingly sophisticated movement to the promotion of peace and civil liberties. For both, publishing was crucial for the dissemination of their arguments, and for the Home Office, censorship of printed material became a correspondingly powerful tool against the peace movement. This essay examines ways in which pacifists circumvented, or defied outright, the legal and economic obstacles to publication. It draws attention to the diverse body of literature – pamphlets, magazines, novels, essays, and fine-publishing projects – which contributed to the wartime chorus of dissent; and it emphasises efforts to make foreign literature available despite cultural and border restrictions.
Translated title of the contributionTranslating Peace: Pacifist Publishing and the Transmission of Foreign Texts
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPublishing in the First World War: Essays in Book History
EditorsMary Hammond, Shafquat Towheed
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Pages46 - 58
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)0230500765, 9780230500761
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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