Brothers in the Great War

Siblings, masculinity and emotions

By Linda Maynard

Brothers in the Great War

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-4614-4
  • Pages: 312
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £85.00
  • Published Date: December 2020
  • BIC Category: Humanities / First World War, Humanities / Social & cultural history, History, Modern History, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Gender Studies, HISTORY / Social History, HISTORY / Military / World War I, Society & social sciences / Gender studies: men
  • Series: Cultural History of Modern War


Siblings are our longest lasting relationships. Narratives of the Great War abound with the war stories of brothers and sisters. Their emotional experiences span the novelty of departing for war or taking up war work, the turmoil of facing combat, the effort to provide ongoing support for family members, the ever-present anxiety for soldier-brothers, the depth of sibling grief and the multifarious ways surviving siblings sought to preserve the memory of their fallen brothers. This social and cultural history places siblinghood at the heart of our understanding of the war generation and how they balanced conflicting obligations to the nation, the military and their families. Drawing on a range of material, Brothers in the Great War, reveals how sibling bonds sustained fighting men and presents a novel insight into twentieth-century familial life.


'Maynard's Brothers in the Great War: Siblings, masculinity and emotions is a comprehensive study of emotions, masculinity, and war which follows the serviceman from enlistment to memorialization through the unique lens of brotherhood. The structure, top-down approach, and wealth of sources from first-hand accounts make this book a refreshing and person-centred contribution to emotion, sibling, and First World War studies.'
Twentieth Century British History, Jasmine Wood

'In this beautifully written book, Linda Maynard tells a story of sibling relationships that has seldom been told in the voluminous historical literature of the First World War. [.] It will have resonances for anyone who is interested in the impact of war and large-scale public crises on family relationships. Maynard writes that 'Public memories of the Great War often drown out more private, more intimate memories' (270). In this research, she has skilfully brought these more intimate expressions of love and loss to historical attention, retaining their uniqueness as personal narratives while placing them firmly in the social and economic context of the period, and the emotional and familial codes and gendered expectations that predominated in Britain at the time of the First World War.'
Medicine, Conflict and Survival


1 Brothering
2 Emotional partings
3 Domestic heroes
4 Brothers in arms
5 Brotherly loss
6 Memory keeping

Selected bibliography


Linda Maynard is an independent researcher focusing on family relationships in wartime

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