War propaganda might not seem the kind of thing I’d normally blog about, but two of my friends have just been to see the exhibition about it at the British Library which they said was excellent.
It is called Propaganda: Power and Persuasion and is about the different methods used for propaganda in war-time. Any country fighting a war needs to keep its own citizens’ morale boosted while trying to persuade its enemies to surrender. While quite a lot of war propaganda in the past involved overt messages on things like posters and leaflets, I find it quite fascinating how folklore and superstitions have been adapted and used to great effect to sway people's minds during conflicts.
For example, I recall reading in the book City of Ravens how it was considered vitally important to keep ravens at the Tower of London during the Second World War because of the legend that while the birds were there England would be safe. In fact, it was then discovered that ravens were excellent at giving early warning of air raids because their hearing was so good - so perhaps there was some truth in the tale after all!
Propaganda: Power and Persuasion runs until 17 September 2013 and is at The British Library, 96 Euston Road, London, NW1 2DB. Regular adult tickets are £9, with reduced prices for concessions or holders of the National Art Pass.
You can contact the box office at 01937 546546 or book tickets online here: http://www.bl.uk/whatson/exhibitions/propaganda/war.html