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    London blitz – the agency of locality: an examination into diversity of experience across the localities of London

    Bryant, Darren (2021) London blitz – the agency of locality: an examination into diversity of experience across the localities of London. PhD thesis, Birkbeck, University of London.

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    Abstract

    Historians have often viewed the London blitz as a single uniform event that whilst the severity of bombing varied across the capital the experience of being bombed was broadly the same. A city wide view predominates which fails to fully take into consideration the myriad components of the complex metropolis. Whilst some historians have argued that the agencies of class, gender and race helped shape wartime experiences, the agency of locality acting as a force determining the lived experience of aerial bombardment has so far been neglected. For the first time in the historiography this thesis conducts a local area analysis examining the blitz through six London boroughs, Metropolitan Boroughs of Finsbury, Bermondsey and Kensington; County Boroughs of East Ham and Croydon; and the Municipal Borough of Acton. These boroughs are representative of the assorted administrative, economic, socio-political variables prevalent in wartime London taking into consideration the make-up of the city itself that lay beneath the bombs. The experiences of the main London blitz of 1940-1941, Tip and Run raids 1943, Little Blitz 1944, and V-Weapon attacks 1944-1945, are derived thematically by focusing upon air raids, provision of air raid shelters, homelessness, and communal feeding. Official government records at the central, regional and local levels, Mass Observation records, diaries, letters and reminiscences attest to wide and differing blitz experiences across the capital. The agency of locality now offers us a fresh approach whereby through immersing ourselves within individual boroughs we can fully appreciate that locality was determinate of how the blitz was experienced by the Londoner.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Thesis
    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: 25 Nov 2021 15:21
    Last Modified: 25 Nov 2021 15:21
    URI: https://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/46800

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