Professor Chapman was among a group of consultants who worked on the project as part of the BBC’s network-wide coverage commemorating the war, leading up to the centenary of the Armistice in 2018.
The ‘World War One at Home’ Ebook uses original journalism, digital technology and archival film, sound, images and documents to reflect the lives of the many people and communities caught up in the conflict.
The Ebook, which is free to download, builds on the successof the BBC’s local radio coverage last year when journalists used the research of its academic consultants to compile features and news items.
Professor Chapman, who specialises in researching media, culture and literature from the war, spent time exploring the archives at the War Reserve Collection at the University of Cambridge’s Library.
She was also able to use her specialist research on World War One cartoons, especially work by the father of British comic strips, W.K. Haselden, whose characterisation of the Kaiser and his son as ‘Big and Little Willie’ was a big hit with Daily Mirror readers on the Home Front.
In one cartoon, he refers to the shelling of Whitby, and in another strip, features a scatty, modern young woman (a ‘flapper’) called Miss Joy Flapperton.
The project was supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Care for the Future initiative, which explores how the relationship between the past, present and future shapes our understanding of the world around us.
Katherine Morrison, the BBC executive in charge of World War One at Home, said: “Thanks to the endeavours of all involved we’ve discovered new and surprising material that we’d probably never have found on our own.”
To download this free interactive Ebook – compatible for use on iOS, Android and Kindle Fire tablets – and discover more about the home front of Britain and Ireland visit:
‘Comics and the World Wars – a Cultural Record’ (ed. Chapman et.al., 2015 Palgrave).