In Australia, Anzac Day, the anniversary of the first landings at Gallipoli, is one of the most important dates in the national calendar. Yet in Britain, the campaign is largely forgotten. The key to this contrast lies in the way in which the campaign's history has been recorded. To many Australians, the Anzac legend is a romantic war myth that proclaims the prowess of Australian participants in the campaign. It is an exercise in nation-building. In Britain, the campaign is also remembered in romantic terms, but the purpose here is to assuage the pain of defeat. Reconsidering Gallipoli broadens the debate over the cultural history of the First World War beyond the Western Front. The final chapter traces the influence of the early accounts on subsequent portrayals including Alan Moorehead's 1956 book, Bean's post 1965 rehabilitation, Peter Weir's 1981 film, and revisionist attacks on the legend.
"This is a historiographical text of much value and interest. The author is an authority on her subject, both in relation to investigating primary sources and recognising the significance of classic texts on Gallipoli from the last eighty years."--Keith Grieves, Kingston University