Playne, Caroline Elizabeth

Scope and Content

Notes, press cuttings, pamphlets and journals compiled and collected by Caroline Elizabeth Playne for her research and publications, including material regarding the war effort in the First World War in Britain, France, Germany and other countries, pacifism, censorship and propaganda and the internment of aliens in Britain, along with publications of pacifist groups, such as the National Peace Council, the No-Conscription Fellowship and the Union of Democratic Control, socialist pamphlets and official publications, 1907-1924.

Administrative / Biographical History

Caroline Elizabeth Playne (1857-1948), pacifist and historian, born Forest Green, Avening, Gloucestershire, 2 May 1857; elected an associate member of the University Women's Club in 1908; published two novels, The Romance of a Lonely Woman (1904) and The Terror of the Macdurghotts (1907), and a paper, The evolution of international peace , read to the Anglo-Russian Literary Society, which was critical of social Darwinism and advocated internationalism. Around 1904 Playne became a founder member of Britain's National Peace Council supporting the recently founded international court at The Hague and in 1908 attended the International Peace Congress in London attended by Bertha von Suttner, whose biographer she later became; joined the Emergency Committee for the Relief of Distressed Enemy Aliens (Germans trapped in Britain); joined E. D. Morel's Union for the Democratic Control of Foreign Policy and worked for the Nailsworth Peace Association and the National Peace Council that was then arranging a postal service for personal correspondence between the belligerent countries and was also trying to trace missing persons. Playne also translated and published articles from the Berliner Tageblatt that praised Quaker relief efforts for German internees and prisoners of war, collected suppressed pacifist pamphlets and kept private notes and a diary on the British press during the war years. In the aftermath of the First World War, Playne wrote extensively on the perceived futility of the conflict; died, 1948.
Publications: Neuroses of the Nations (1925), The Pre-War Mind in Britain (1928), Society and War, 1914-16 (1931), Britain Holds on, 1917, 1918 (1933), Bertha von Suttner and the Struggle to Avert the World War (1936).


The collection has been arranged in sequential number.

Access Information

Access to this collection is unrestricted for the purpose of private study and personal research within the supervised environment and restrictions of the Library's Palaeography Room. Uncatalogued material may not be seen. Please contact the University Archivist for details.

Acquisition Information

No further information available.

Other Finding Aids

Bound handlist available.

Archivist's Note

Compiled by Stefan Dickers as part of the RSLP AIM25 Project.

Conditions Governing Use

Copies may be made, subject to the condition of the original. Copying must be undertaken by the Palaeography Room staff, who will need a minimum of 24 hours to process requests.