Lay Down Your Arms

von Suttner, B. and Holmes, T. (2019) Lay Down Your Arms. [Scholarly Editions]

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Die Waffen nieder! (1889), translated into English in 1892 as Lay Down Your Arms, was an international bestseller. Its Austrian author Bertha von Suttner (1843-1914) chose the medium of fiction in order to reach as broad an audience as possible with her pacifist ideals. Challenging the narrow nationalisms of nineteenth-century Europe, Suttner believed that disputes between nations should be settled by means of arbitration rather than armed conflict. She devoted her life to campaigning for the cause of peace, and in 1905 became the first female recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Suttner’s influential novel yields insights into the early development of calls for a united Europe and an end to the arms race. This English translation of the novel was carried out as a ‘labour of love’ by the eminent Victorian surgeon and medical scholar Timothy Holmes (1825-1907), the editor of Gray’s Anatomy, for whom this was an unusual foray into the world of fiction. Holmes was Vice-Chairman of the London-based International Arbitration and Peace Association and a contemporary of Suttner. His translation helped to spread Suttner’s views across the Anglophone world, and contributed to the growth of the peace movement in the period before the First World War.

Item Type:Scholarly Editions
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Burns, Dr Barbara
Authors: von Suttner, B., and Holmes, T.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Modern Languages and Cultures > German
Publisher:Modern Humanities Research Association
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