Edith Cavell and her Legend

Christine Hallett

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This book examines the myriad identities and portrayals of Edith Cavell, as they have been constructed and handed down by propagandists, biographers and artists. Cavell was first introduced to the British public through a series of Foreign Office statements which claimed to establish the “facts” of her case. Her own voice, along with those of her family, colleagues and friends, were muted, as a monolithic image of a national heroine and martyr emerged. The book identifies two main areas of tension in her commemoration: firstly, the contrast between complexity of her own behaviour and motivations and the simplicity of the “Cavell Legend” that was constructed around her; and, secondly, the mismatch between the attempts of individuals and professional organisations to commemorate her life and work, and the public construction of a “heroine” who could be of value to the nation state.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages137
ISBN (Electronic)9781137543714
ISBN (Print)9781137543707
Publication statusPublished - 5 Dec 2018


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