Max Egremont

The View Over the Parapet

Tommy: The British Soldier on The Western Front 1914-1918

By

HarperCollins 717pp £20 order from our bookshop

 

THE FIRST WORLD War was Britain’s September 11. Nothing comparable had happened to the British before and it changed the way they saw themselves and their security. For the first time since Dutch ships had sailed up the Medway in the seventeenth century, the homeland came under direct attack when Scarborough was shelled and London bombed. Almost every family suffered the death or wounding of at least one of its members. In south-eastern England, the sound of artillery echoed across the Channel as a distant reminder of the war’s most bloody aspect: the battles on the Western Front, its long, snaking line familiar now from several dozen television documentaries, each one accompanied by a suitably sepulchral commentary.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • What a charming, candid blogpost from one of our dear contributing editors. ,
    • RT : The first guess from one of my 1st graders was “death” and such an awed, somber, reflective hush fell over the clas… ,
    • Merry Christmas from Literary Review! Hope your stockings were laden with books, and the tree bending under the weight of further books....,
    • Last minute Christmas gift required? We're offering discounts on all our subscriptions (20% no less!) with the cod… ,
    • In this issue's 'Silenced Voices', Lucy Popescu writes of Thailand's restrictive lese-majesty laws and their latest… ,
    • "Gunn was a disciple of the American formalist Yvor Winters, but Winters’s poetry could never give off such a scent… ,
    • Christmas gift hunting? Why not give the gift of being even better read? We're offering discounts on all our subscr… ,