War is often lived through and remembered as a time of heightened emotional intensity during which patriotic fervour, the break-up of families, encounters with the enemy, loss of life, and extraordinary levels of violence engendered a range of complex emotional responses. This edited collection places the emotions of war centre stage. It explores specific emotional responses in particular wartime locations, it maps national and transnational emotional cultures, and it proposes new ways of deploying emotion as an analytical device. This introductory chapter considers what happens when we place the emotions of war centre stage, demonstrating how cornerstones of historical writing and analysis, such as the chronological divide between ‘war’ and ‘postwar’ can look very different when we approach war through a study of emotions.
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