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Trauma, Primitivism and the First World War

This book examines the extraordinary life of Frank “Toronto” Prewett and the history of trauma, literary expression, and the power of self-representation after WWI.


Joy Porter sheds new light on how the First World War affected the Canadian poet, and how war-induced trauma or “shell-shock” caused him to pretend to be an indigenous North American. Porter investigates his influence of, and acceptance by, some of the most significant literary figures of the time, including Siegfried Sassoon, Edmund Blunden, Wilfred Owen and Robert Graves.


In doing so, Porter skillfully connects a number of historiographies that usually exist in isolation from one another and rarely meet. By bringing together a history of the WWI era, early twentieth century history, Native American history, the history of literature, and the history of class Porter expertly crafts a valuable contribution to the field.

Trauma, Primitivism and the First World War

  • Joy Porter

    This book brings into focus life of Canadian poet Frank Prewett and examines the impact World War II had on him and examines the wider themes of class, gender and Native American history. 

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  • Book Details

    Imprint: Bloomsbury Academic
    Publication Date: 06-05-2021
    Format: Hardback | 234 x 156mm | 304 pages
  • About the Author

    Joy Porter is Professor of Indigenous History at the University of Hull, UK and Leverhulme Major Research Fellow, 2019-2022.

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