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Tragic symbiosis : distinctive 'anglo-saxon' visions and voices

Mangan, J. A. (2011) Tragic symbiosis : distinctive 'anglo-saxon' visions and voices. International Journal of the History of Sport, 28 (3-4). pp. 435-457.

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Abstract

On the sacred late-Victorian and Edwardian public school playing field – the sanctus sanctorum – courage, determination and endurance were honed for the battlefield. There was a tragic symbiosis between playing field and battlefield – a distinctly ‘Anglo-Saxon' manifestation. However it is important to recognise that complexity was a feature of the public school embrace of the Games Cult as military preparation. There were disparate constellations, patterns and complexities in the schools and in society, best revealed by examination of hitherto insignificant visions and voices of the time. Consideration of a far wider range of visions and voices is require if the full chorus of the Great War ‘chanteurs and chantrices' is to be heard. Historians have an obligation to consider both the ‘significant' and ‘insignificant' if a more complete record of late-Victorian and Edwardian attitudes to war is to be made.