When death gave way to glory: Philip Gibbs, RMS Titanic and the Western Front

Kerby, Martin ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4073-2559 and Baguley, Margaret ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0098-6378 (2022) When death gave way to glory: Philip Gibbs, RMS Titanic and the Western Front. International Journal of Maritime History, 34 (1). pp. 46-62. ISSN 0843-8714

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Abstract

The English journalist and author Philip Gibbs established many of the mythological conventions of the Titanic sinking – the luxury of a ship believed to be unsinkable; insufficient lifeboats; women and children first; the band playing ‘Nearer, My God, to Thee’; the failure of a nearby ship to respond to distress signals; and the heroism of the doomed passengers. Gibbs’ language choices in reporting on the Titanic reflected late-Victorian and Edwardian attitudes to chivalry, heroism, masculinity and nationality. Later, as one of the most influential war correspondents working on the Western Front, he consistently drew on this same anachronistic rhetoric to describe mass industrialized warfare. In 1912, and across almost four years of war, Gibbs celebrated glory’s triumph over tragedy. In this confrontation with danger, stoic endurance and acceptance of martyrdom were proof that a person was both a man and a Briton.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: File reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher/author.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Education (1 Jul 2019 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Education (1 Jul 2019 -)
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2022 06:23
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2022 01:03
Uncontrolled Keywords: chivalry, Edwardian England, Great War, journalism, Philip Gibbs, Titanic, Victorian England, war correspondent, Western Front
Fields of Research (2008): 21 History and Archaeology > 2103 Historical Studies > 210307 European History (excl. British, Classical Greek and Roman)
21 History and Archaeology > 2103 Historical Studies > 210305 British History
Fields of Research (2020): 43 HISTORY, HERITAGE AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 4303 Historical studies > 430323 Transnational history
43 HISTORY, HERITAGE AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 4303 Historical studies > 430304 British history
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970120 Expanding Knowledge in Language, Communication and Culture
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1302 Communication > 130201 Communication across languages and culture
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/08438714221075995
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/46988

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