Kate M. Nash is a Lecturer of Rhetoric at Boston University. She is at work on a book manuscript provisionally titled Consuming War: Modernism and the Rhetoric of Austerity, which explores how British women writers engaged with state-sponsored changes in food culture during the First and Second World Wars.
Kate M. Nash
Betty Miller opens her 1946 “Notes for an Unwritten Autobiography” provocatively, branding herself a “Fifth Columnist” who had at one time worked to undermine her country from within. Rather than any clandestine operation that she participated in as an adult, however, Miller’s stint as a “Fifth Columnist” occurred when she was just a child. While a young girl in a nursery in Ireland, Miller increasingly became captivated by the image of the German Kaiser Wilhelm II. Although Miller understood that the Kaiser must be “the most wicked man on earth,” she nevertheless felt a combination of powerful fascination and pity because he was so seemingly friendless and ostracized.