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Crimson nightmares: tales of invasion and fears of revolution in early twentieth-century Britain

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/07/2014
<mark>Journal</mark>Contemporary British History
Issue number3
Volume28
Number of pages24
Pages (from-to)294-317
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The invasion literature written in the years before 1914, warning against the danger of an attack by Germany, often reflected anxieties about domestic social and political changes as much as developments abroad. In the years after 1918, Soviet Russia increasingly replaced Germany as a focus for concern in a new ‘invasion literature’, which fretted about the possibility of Moscow seeking to foment class war in Britain. Numerous ‘Tales of the Future’ were published describing imaginary scenarios in which external enemies sought to promote domestic unrest in order to make Britain more vulnerable to invasion. These narratives articulated a diffuse sense of popular anxiety about the fragility of the status quo and its vulnerability to challenges emanating both at home and from abroad.