'A matter of individual opinion and feeling': the changing culture of mourning dress in the First World War
AbstractMourning dress, the typically black costume worn to mark a bereavement was once a well-established part of funeral and mourning culture in Britain. The First World War is generally understood to have caused a major breakdown in mourning practices; the explanations offered for this breakdown include patriotism, practicality, concern for morale, and respect for the war dead. This paper will address the changes that took place within the culture of mourning dress between 1914 and 1918, while simultaneously considering how attitudes towards death and the rituals associated with bereavement were altered by the conflict. This will include an analysis of the developments in fashionable mourning dress during the war, assessing changes both in aesthetics and etiquette, in an attempt to determine the reasons for the breakdown. This paper will also discuss what comfort the ritual of mourning dress offered the war widow, and what constituted ‘war appropriate’ mourning in wartime.
Whitmore, L. <http://eprints.gla.ac.uk/view/author/39005.html> (2017) 'A matter of individual opinion and feeling': the changing culture of mourning dress in the First World War. Women's History Review <http://eprints.gla.ac.uk/view/journal_volume/Women=27s_History_Review.html>, (doi:10.1080/09612025.2017.1292631 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09612025.2017.1292631>) (Early Online Publication)