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Women of warGender, modernity and the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry$
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Juliette Pattinson

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781526145659

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7765/9781526145666

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Introduction: Daughters of war – Gender modernity and the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry

Introduction: Daughters of war – Gender modernity and the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry

(p.1) Introduction: Daughters of war – Gender modernity and the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry
Women of war

Juliette Pattinson

Manchester University Press

Textual narratives and visual images of this period were positively saturated with notions of the modern. The ‘New Woman’, a powerful cultural icon constantly linked to modernity, was the archetypal female figure at the fin de siècle, most frequently a fictional character drawn in the minds of journalists and novelists, both celebrated and despised. She was a discursive response to changes to women’s lives in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, often regarded as imperilling the status quo. The opening chapter examines the construction of the ‘New Woman’ and explores more broadly discourses of modernity, which are always diverse and multifaceted. It reveals the myriad ways that the Corps can be considered modern. The chapter also analyses contemporaneous and retrospective sources drawn upon in the book. The FANY’s unprecedented trespassing on male terrain and members’ status as witnesses to and co-participants in war gave members narrative authority, enabling them to chronicle their experiences in memoirs, novels, diaries, letters and poetry, as well as interesting journalists enough to write about them.

Keywords:   New Woman, modernity, FANY

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