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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Anthems for doomed youths
Part group biography of eleven important war poets, part history, part poetic anthology, this does an excellent job of placing the poetry of WW1 within its context. Egremont organises his material by year, so traces both the development of the war and the attitudes it engendered, while also placing the poetry into chronological order.

There are some stark facts...
Published 7 months ago by Roman Clodia

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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Heavy going
Bought this on a whim - wished i hadn't! I quickly realised it just wasn't for me! But it may be for you??
Published 1 month ago by Nick


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Anthems for doomed youths, 8 May 2014
By 
Roman Clodia (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
Part group biography of eleven important war poets, part history, part poetic anthology, this does an excellent job of placing the poetry of WW1 within its context. Egremont organises his material by year, so traces both the development of the war and the attitudes it engendered, while also placing the poetry into chronological order.

There are some stark facts that this book makes clear: for example, I never knew that more than twice as many British men were killed in WW1 as in WW2 – a shocking statistic, and one fundamental to the experience of the poets examined here.

At the same time, Egremont unpicks some of the myths of the poets: Wilfred Owen, for example, often used at the epitome of the tragedy of war, dying, as he did, a week before the armistice was declared, wrote in one of his last letters that there was nowhere else he’d rather be than at the front.

So whether you are deeply familiar with WW1 poetry or whether it might be new to you, this is a book which has something new to say – highly recommended.

(This review is from an ARC courtesy of the publisher)
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant look at the Great War, 11 Dec 2014
By 
atticusfinch1048 - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Some Desperate Glory: The First World War the Poets Knew (Hardcover)
Some Desperate Glory – A wonderful mixture of Poetry & Explanation

During the Centenary Year remembering the start of the Great War in 1914 many books are being published in respect of the reasons for war, the first battles of the war and the great soldiers of the war. Many anthologies of the war poets are being brought out as yet another reminder of the war. Max Egremont has joined the canon of books being published about the Great War, but in Some Desperate Glory is different to the others and a very welcome addition.

This is a book of many parts which fits perfectly like a jigsaw where history, biography and poetry are not separated from each other but brought together in this volume. This is in part a biography of eleven war poets, placing some of their poetry in context of the war by using a timeline of events and including a short history of the military events of that particular year.

Historians today are always looking to illustrate their work on the Great War with not just the facts and interpretation but with the thoughts and feelings of the men at the front. So as well as using the military documents of the time and other primary sources the historian also interrogates letters and poetry one of the many ways in which we are able to express are feelings in a readable context.

What I enjoyed about Some Desperate Glory is that Ergemont is not attempting to dress up any of the facts whether it be war statistics or about the poets. One thing that is also very striking about the book is the change in the thinking and poetry from 1914 to that of 1918, when some of these poets were dead. He also shows that the war was breaking away from what had been a traditional war to one that was mechanised, became far harder and horrific.

The poetry highlights what Egremont explains to the reader what happened to the poet on the battlefield and what was happening in their military lives. This is a wonderful book an interesting account of the war that is accessible for any reader and one that can be read and reread and enjoyed every time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a fascinating - if poignant book., 24 Sep 2014
By 
Viktor Wynd (Miami, Florida) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Some Desperate Glory: The First World War the Poets Knew (Hardcover)
a fascinating - if poignant book. i have it in a pile of book by the fire in my study and frequently dip in with pleasure
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Heavy going, 25 Oct 2014
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This review is from: Some Desperate Glory: The First World War the Poets Knew (Hardcover)
Bought this on a whim - wished i hadn't! I quickly realised it just wasn't for me! But it may be for you??
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Some Desperate Glory: The First World War the Poets Knew
Some Desperate Glory: The First World War the Poets Knew by Max Egremont (Hardcover - 8 May 2014)
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