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  • Blown All to Nothing

Dillon, Brian, 2013, Book, Blown All to Nothing Penguin. ISBN TBC (Unpublished)

Abstract or Description:

Blown All to Nothing is a work of creative non-fiction which recounts the events of 2 April 1916, when an explosives factory near Faversham in Kent exploded, killing 108 people and injuring many more. The book combines an intimate account of the disaster itself with reflections on the resulting landscape, the context of war and industry, and the representation of such events in art, film, literature and popular culture. It will be published in hardback in the UK in autumn 2013; it will be about 80,000 words in extent.

This is a book about a specific moment and a specific place, about the people whose lives were destroyed or affected by the conjunction of the two. But it is also about related historical events – the invention of gunpowder, the fate of the Titanic for which the Explosives Loading Company had manufactured distress flares – and the broader context of the First World War, not to mention the long and terrible history of killing by explosives that has followed since. In a sense, the man-made explosion – be it accidental or deliberate, the product of a nuclear weapons programme or the ambitions of a lone terrorist – is an exemplary image of the last century or so: a very modern form of death and destruction.

Research for the book has been undertaken at the site itself, where the ruins of the factory are still visible, at the nearby Oare works, which is now a heritage site, at the Faversham Museum and at the National Archives. Further research will take place at the Imperial War Museum, the extant archives of companies involved such as ICI, and comparable sites in Britain, Europe and America.

Subjects: Other > Historical and Philosophical studies > V200 History by area > V210 British History
Creative Arts and Design > W800 Imaginative Writing
School or Centre: School of Humanities
Date Deposited: 30 Jun 2012 08:24
Last Modified: 30 Jun 2012 08:24
URI: http://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/1121

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