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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scholarly, with a personal touch
The pedigree of the authors guarantees that this is a scholarly and sympathetic view of the role that public school boys played in the Great War, and a useful balancing antidote to Peter Parker's harsher 'Old Lie'. In a Britain that, unlike France and Germany, eschewed military conscription, the most obvious source of junior officers once those of the Regular Army had...
Published 13 months ago by Stephen

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Curate's Egg- good in parts.
Most interesting. I think the book relies rather too much on the albeit fascinating individual stories without sufficient emphasis on a more analytical approach. A lot of questions which I think might have been addressed were hardly touched upon, if at all. However, a good read with a lively engaging style.
Published 11 months ago by John Badham


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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scholarly, with a personal touch, 17 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: Public Schools and the Great War (Hardcover)
The pedigree of the authors guarantees that this is a scholarly and sympathetic view of the role that public school boys played in the Great War, and a useful balancing antidote to Peter Parker's harsher 'Old Lie'. In a Britain that, unlike France and Germany, eschewed military conscription, the most obvious source of junior officers once those of the Regular Army had been all but wiped out in 1914, was the public school system. The values and the rudimentary military training of OTCs and Rifle Corps were better than nothing in a national emergency. Those boys hardened by abrupt experience who commanded men up to twice their age and on the far side of a social divide were not all perfect, but their genuine care and compassion for their men sustained the struggle through horrors until the victory. They paid a disproportionate share of the butcher's bill; in reading this book, you are never far from a staggeringly large number.
The book balances statistical fact and human anecdote neatly and does not venture into matters of strategy or international politics, which are best left to academic historians. In so doing, it avoids the dryness of academe, and is very readable. A personal thread is subtly stitched through the pages, and when the full facts are revealed they are no less dramatic and poignant for it.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Scholarly and considered, 9 April 2014
This review is from: Public Schools and the Great War (Hardcover)
A lot of painstaking research has gone into this book and the end result is a wide-ranging subject broken down into easily manageable and compelling chapters. Drawing on recent correspondence with 200 leading public schools, and delving into historical archives and contemporary publications, the authors bring to life what, for many, is an all-too-familiar catalogue of lives cut short and promises left unfulfilled. More than this, the impact of officer casualties - and of course, it is mainly officers whose often all too brief lives are documented - is movingly re-told. As the war progressed and the casualties increased, the loss of former pupils and teachers was felt deeply not only by their immediate families but by their schools as well. Indeed, after the Somme offensive, the weekly ritual of reading out the names of fallen former pupils in some public school halls and assemblies was abandoned altogether; simply too much for the resolutely stiff upper lips to bear. Unlike a lot of First World War studies, this book does not end in November 1918 but continues beyond the war, dealing with commemoration and remembrance in the decades since 1914-1918, the war as history and the lost generation.

Extensive notes, a thorough index, comprehensive bibliography and a roll call of public schools detailing the number of pupils in 1914, the number of pupils who served, the number killed and the percentage of students killed round off this meticulous study. There is something for everyone here; a book that can just as happily be read from cover to cover as it can be dipped into for salutary lessons from a century ago. This is a lovely book to own and its production is up to the usual high standards one has come to expect of Pen and Sword.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly readable and informative, 9 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: Public Schools and the Great War (Hardcover)
This is definitely not just a book for posh people who went to posh schools! It is a brilliant and readable analysis of the effect of the Great War on society (with the emphasis not surprisingly on public schools)and the effect of public school old boys on the War. Dr Seldon can be relied on to be informed, authoritative and thought-provoking and this book is no exception. The slaughter of a generation of young men who generally speaking led from the front makes sobering and humbling reading. Not to be missed. A lot of worthwhile knowledge well presented for £16!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Curate's Egg- good in parts., 22 April 2014
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This review is from: Public Schools and the Great War (Hardcover)
Most interesting. I think the book relies rather too much on the albeit fascinating individual stories without sufficient emphasis on a more analytical approach. A lot of questions which I think might have been addressed were hardly touched upon, if at all. However, a good read with a lively engaging style.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read!, 31 Dec. 2013
This review is from: Public Schools and the Great War (Hardcover)
Unexpectedly fascinating read. This book was a Christmas present to a relative which I picked up out of curiosity and became completely engrossed by. The research is mind boggling though the authors do tell us that they received a very large response to their request for information from the many public schools they approached. I strongly recommend this book; don't be put off by the title which makes the subject seem more narrow than it is.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 5 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: Public Schools and the Great War (Hardcover)
Excellent
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book, 11 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: Public Schools and the Great War (Hardcover)
Got this as a gift, came in excellent condition, very well packaged. Would recommend to anyone with interest in these areas.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous gripping read, 21 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: Public Schools and the Great War (Hardcover)
Well worth a read for anyone interested in UK history. My husband was glued to this book and found it very moving and has been recommending it to everyone.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Former pupils stressed by battle., 24 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: Public Schools and the Great War (Hardcover)
A valuable and timely review of the statistics of those who gave their lives in the service of their country from a selection of "public schools".
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 25 Aug. 2014
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Eddie Wilkinson (Ashford in the Water, Derbyshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Public Schools and the Great War (Hardcover)
I am enjoying reading it.
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Public Schools and the Great War
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