Why ‘The Empire has an Answer’?

July 23, 2019

One of the first questions I am asked about my book is why did I call it ‘The Empire has an Answer’ and the simple response is it is part of a quote that I found during my research.  As soon as I saw it I knew I had my title.  The quote appeared in numerous Australian newspapers and each attributed it only to the Daily Mail, indicating it was likely an editorial comment amid the reporting of the announcement of the Empire Air Training Scheme to the House of Commons by Britain’s Secretary for Air, Sir Kingsley Wood. The full quote is, ‘if the air weapon is the bogey by which Hitler hopes to frighten the world into submission, the Empire has an answer’.  I thought the quote not only encapsulated the extent of the scheme through the use of Empire, but also invoked a sense of positivity and purpose that the Allies would prevail.  I felt using the quote as the title for the book also evoked the voice of the day and helped the reader slip into the period.  I continued this theme throughout the book, with all of the chapters named for a quote that captures the context of that portion of the book.  It is probably a little self-indulgent, but it also helps me set my mind in the period.

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