‘Went into raptures’: reading emotion in the ordinary wartime diary, 1941-1946

TWELLS, Alison (2015). ‘Went into raptures’: reading emotion in the ordinary wartime diary, 1941-1946. Women's History Review, 25 (1), 143-160.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09612025.2015.1047250
Link to published version:: 10.1080/09612025.2015.1047250


Despite the emergence of studies attentive to the difference between discourses about emotion and the experience of emotion, particularly within the histories of gender and sexuality, social class has been a neglected category. More specifically, those historical sources which enable engagement with a subject’s emotional life have been largely produced by middle-class and elite individuals and groups. It remains notoriously difficult to gain access to the interior lives of ‘ordinary’ people. This article asserts the significance of the ‘ordinary’ diary in enabling exploration of the emotional lives of non-elite women and girls. It focuses on expressions of romantic love and sexual interest, anger and disappointment in the pocket diaries of a working-class scholarship girl from the English East Midlands during the years of the Second World War, to argue that ordinary diaries can help us to move beyond cultural directives concerning appropriate female emotional expression to develop a greater understanding of the daily crafting of the modern self. Keywords : emotion, diaries, social class, women, history from below.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Published as part of Special Issue: Love, Desire and Melancholy: inspired by Constance Maynard
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Humanities Research Centre
Identification Number: 10.1080/09612025.2015.1047250
Depositing User: Alison Twells
Date Deposited: 27 May 2015 13:06
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2016 23:37
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/10051

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