Peaky Blinders

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Did the First World War inspire organised crime in inter-war Britain?

In this episode we talk to Emma Hanna (University of Kent) about the British crime-drama series Peaky Blinders and how the war service of the main characters may have further brutalised the gangsters as they negotiate the harsh realities of postwar life. Along the way we discuss the difference in experience between sappers and infantry, different manifestations of ‘shellshock’, and whether the series is a love letter to Birmingham.

References

Carl Chinn, Peaky Blinders: The Real Story of Birmingham’s Most Notorious Gangs (London: John Blake, 2019)

Emma Hanna, ‘Representations of the First World War in Contemporary British Television Drama’ in Ann-Marie Einhaus & Katherine Isobel Baxter (ed), Edinburgh Companion to the First World War and the Arts, (Edinburgh: EUP, 2017)

Paul Long, ‘Class, Place and History in the Imaginative Landscapes of Peaky Blinders’ in David Forrest & Beth Johnson (ed), Social Class and Television Drama in Contemporary Britain, (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017)

You can also purchase Peaky Blinder journals and colouring books!

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