BIROn - Birkbeck Institutional Research Online

    The representation of London nights in British popular press and film, 1919-1939

    Arts, Mara (2020) The representation of London nights in British popular press and film, 1919-1939. Doctoral thesis, Birkbeck, University of London.

    Publicversion-2020ArtsMPhDBBK.pdf - Public Version

    Download (2MB) | Preview
    [img] PDF
    Fullversion-2020ArtsMPhDBBK.pdf - Full Version
    Restricted to Repository staff only

    Download (2MB)


    This thesis explores the representation of night-time activities in the capital in popular British newspapers and films of the period. It argues that, whilst an increasingly democratised night allowed for more opportunities for previously marginalised groups, popular media of the period largely promoted adherence to the status quo. The thesis draws on extensive primary source material, including eighty British feature films and newspaper samples of the Daily Mail, Daily Express and Daily Mirror to systematically analyse the representation of London’s nightlife in the British interwar period. This period saw the consolidation of the popular daily newspaper industry and, after government intervention, an expansion of the domestic film industry. The interwar period also saw great social change with universal suffrage, technological developments and an economic crisis. London greatly expanded and modernised during these decades, and the city’s nightlife boomed as a result. The first chapter of the thesis offers a historical framework and literature review and explains the methodological foundations of the research. The remainder of the thesis consists of case studies of the representation of five aspects of the capital after dark. The first pair of these case studies are concerned with two aspects of the city’s built environment that expanded rapidly during the interwar period: the suburbs and public transport system. The latter three chapters deal with three groups of London’s inhabitants whose behaviour at night was scrutinised: journalists, police officers and women. Each chapter uses close readings of newspaper and film sources to highlight how popular media during the British interwar period used the night-time both to appeal to audiences and to advocate resistance to cultural change. Together, they provide new insights in the cultural outputs of interwar Britain which shaped how their audiences saw the world around them.


    Item Type: Thesis
    Additional Information: The full version thesis is not currently available for public use
    Copyright Holders: The copyright of this thesis rests with the author, who asserts his/her right to be known as such according to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. No dealing with the thesis contrary to the copyright or moral rights of the author is permitted.
    Depositing User: Acquisitions And Metadata
    Date Deposited: 15 Jul 2020 10:03
    Last Modified: 01 Nov 2023 14:26


    Activity Overview
    6 month trend
    6 month trend

    Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.

    Archive Staff Only (login required)

    Edit/View Item Edit/View Item