The Bright Young People of the late 1920s: How the Great War’s Armistice influenced those too young to fight
316 - 330
Journal of European Studies
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© 2015, © The Author(s) 2015. The Bright Young People were a much publicized aristocratic coterie and a fragment of the generation that had been old enough to remember the Great War, yet too young to have fought in it. This generation placed more importance on the Armistice of 1918 than the war’s commencement in 1914 as the war’s end undeniably separated them from the generation that fought. Coming of age in the late 1920s, this generation was forced to face the economic, political and social changes wrought by a war in which they had no real role. The Bright Young People reacted to these changes in audacious ways – solving inter-war problems with adventure, flamboyance and flair, yet solving them nonetheless. However, the root of their desire to garner attention and make a statement can be found in their age: just a few years younger than the ‘lost generation’, they were constantly compared to men and women who sacrificed so much on field and home front, even though they could not possibly have taken part themselves. They grew up in an atmosphere of solemnity as Britain strove to remember the war, and they desired to make noise in the silence so as not to be forgotten.
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