Behind the Lines: One woman's war 1914–18: The Letters of Caroline Ethel Cooper
Collins, 311 pp, $19.95 hb
The letters which form the body of this book are well edited and displayed, the biographical notes, although from necessity they are usually brief, are valuable – in these ways Decie Denholm has been a keen and careful editor. More about the letters later.
First though, increasingly I find it tiresome and misleading when historians like Decie Denholm use catchphrases like ‘the Victorian mould’ to label people. If the Victorian ‘mould’ or ‘stereotype’ means anything, it presumably means something different to every reader or student. At my age I recall ‘Victorians’; my children do not and what they understand by the word is likely to be very different from my interpretation. The ‘Victorians’ I knew in my childhood were mostly upper middle-class people – a person of my age from some other country, or different family milieu, would recollect something, or someone, else again.