Customer Review

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Readable and Refreshing New Biography, 7 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Wilfred Owen (Hardcover)
One might have thought that enough had been written about Wilfred Owen, but Guy Cuthbertson shows an approach that is refreshing and original. His style is witty and amusing without demeaning his subject at all. I liked the way in which he follows certain themes that affected Owen's life and character, drawn from known facts: social background and class, his mother's influence, his sexuality, religion and education. Cuthbertson shows how much Owen believed he had missed out by not attending university, instead taking a post as assistant to a Thames Valley clergyman. He also contrasts the poetry with its strong judgments on war with other views expressed in letters in which he shows an almost childlike belief in gallantry. In fact, the author demonstrates what a man of many contradictions Owen was and not the simple unified character many have found in the poetry.

I liked the expansive way in which Cuthbertson detailed Owen's background, both family and geography, and discusses how these affected him. Others may have done this to a degree but this author has delved deeper and further. While some may find this insufficiently close to Owen, I found it useful and informative for instance to be able to picture what Bordeaux was like in 1914, how its prosperous middle class and visitors lived, the Catholicism of the place, in what unfamiliar milieu he found himself and how this affected his development.

There seems to be a tendency for people of one sexual orientation or another to claim Owen as their own. Cuthbertson avoids this, and makes it clear that with the limited factual knowledge available the jury has to be undecided on this matter- a 'not proven' verdict. With cleverly extracted quotations from letters the author also shows the degree to which Owen's class and sensitivity to class affected his life, work and soldiering.

This book is full of useful, interesting material and is easy to read- highly recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

3.8 out of 5 stars (15 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (7)
4 star:
 (3)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:
 (3)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
£25.00 £22.50
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Reviewer


Top Reviewer Ranking: 2,487,496