Natural History Museum A Museum at War : Snapshots of life at the Natural History Museum during World War One

A Museum at War : Snapshots of life at the Natural History Museum during World War One

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'Can the Natural History Museum provide 1915 propaganda chief John Buchan with an image of a kraken, to help annoy the Kaiser’s sailors? What insects are spoiling army biscuits on the Western Front? Wither leeches to heal the wounds at Ypres? Karolyn Shindler’s A Museum at War (The National History Museum), a quirky wartime diary, as from the boffins of Cromwell Road, is a treasure house of oddities' - The New Statesman

An insightful and fascinating account of the Natural Museum's role during WWI

Written in diary form, this fascinating book by historian and journalist Karolyn Shindler traces events at London's Natural History Museum from 1914 to 1919.

She reveals not only how the four years of war fundamentally altered all aspects of Museum life but also how the Museum itself made an important contribution to Britain's war effort.

There are unexpected stories including the Museum’s role in propaganda, and odd tales such as panicked sightings of downed German Zepplins, which turn out to be dead whales. Intriguingly we learn the role Museum staff played in public awareness campaigns, producing displays and publications on subjects such as house flies and food hygiene at home, and applying their scientific know-how to practical problems in the field of conflict.

A highly readable book which shines a light on museum life during the Great War.

One of The New Statesman's Best Books of 2019.

Details
  • Author: Karolyn Shindler
  • Hardcover: 232 pages
  • Date published: October 2018
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 978-0565094614
  • Product Dimensions: 20.2 x 14.1 cm
Reviews

'Can the Natural History Museum provide 1915 propaganda chief John Buchan with an image of a kraken, to help annoy the Kaiser's sailors? What insects are spoiling army biscuits on the Western Front? Wither leeches to heal the wounds at Ypres? Karolyn Shindler's A Museum at War, a quirky wartime diary, as from the boffins of Cromwell Road, is a treasure house of oddities.' - New Statesman

'Brilliant... a fascinating insight into the role of the Museum in the Great War, ranging from the campaign against trench foot to the development of camouflage - a true museum piece of a book!'
- Martin Bell


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