Empires of the Dead: How One Man's Vision Led to the Creation of WWI's War Graves Paperback – 27 Mar 2014
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
‘Of the avalanche of books to commemorate the centennial of the opening of the Great War, ‘Empires of the Dead’ is the most original, best written and most challenging so far. Mercifully, it is also one of the shortest. It strikes at the heart of the current debate about what we are commemorating, celebrating or deploring in the flood of ceremony, debate and literary rows about the meaning of the First World War today. Crane succeeds in doing so by looking at the achievement of Fabian Ware, who to this day is almost an unknown in the pantheon of heroes or villains associated with the conflict’ Evening Standard
‘Outstanding … Crane shows how extraordinary a physical, logistical and administrative feat it was to bury or commemorate more than half a million dead in individual graves. And he reveals that this Herculean task was accomplished largely due to the efforts of one man: Fabian Ware’ Independent on Sunday
‘Vivid and compelling … David Crane writes exuberant, joyful prose. He is acutely aware of the ambiguities and nuances surrounding the issues of war and death; and that makes this a fine and troubling book, as well as a riveting read’ Literary Review
‘A superb study. The story of the foundation and achievements of the War Graves Commission has been told before, but never so well or so perceptively. Crane brings out the complexities of Ware’s character … his brilliance as a diplomat … and the paradoxes in his achievement’ Spectator
‘The most original, shortest and best written of the year’s tsunami of books on the impact of the Great War’ Evening Standard, Books of the Year
‘Excellent’ Sunday Times
‘Intensely moving’ Boyd Tonkin, Independent
’A beautifully researched and written book, an intellectually honest work of history’ Guardian
About the Author
David Crane's first book, ‘Lord Byron’s Jackal’ was published to great acclaim in 1998, and his second, ‘The Kindness of Sisters’ published in 2002, is a groundbreaking work of romantic biography. In 2005 the highly acclaimed 'Scott of the Antarctic' was published, followed by ‘Men of War’, a collection of 19th Century naval biographies, in 2009. Crane lives in north-west Scotland.
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
This was all deliberate, of course, and all the work of the (then) Imperial War Graves Commission and its chief Fabian Ware. Ware started out in France as the head of a Red Cross Ambulance Unit, and as much as recovering live soldiers his work inevitably involved locating and marking the graves of those they could not save. As it would be wont to on the Western Front, the work escalated, and eventually it became a full-time role.
The First World War cemeteries are so much a part of our cultural memory of the war, so much a part of its iconography, that it is easy to forget just how much resistance there was to the concept at all. Many bereaved relatives were dismayed and horrified to learn that they could not bring their loved ones' bodies home, that they could not pay for grand monuments or tombs, that just as they had to sacrifice their sons and brothers and husbands and fathers to the nation in life, they must now do so also in death.Read more ›
This is a well-written history of the (I)CWGC, and I am aware that it is not biography of Fabian Ware. But I am left with something of the same feeling as when confronted with the great monuments he created: impressive,commanding, painstakingly democratic but somewhat austere and impersonal, without intimacy. For all that, it is a book I will gladly reread and I may in so doing prove myself wrong.
This book has filled many gaps in her knowledge, and enabled her to really understand how/why the graves are laid out as they are.
If you need knowledge of this area, then read this book. (Loads brownie points as well).
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I bought this for husband who says it is one of the most amazing accounts he has ever read.Published 8 months ago by PollyCB
Quite rightly short-listed for the Samuel Johnson non-fiction book prize, this is a very readable, relatively concise account of the work of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Read morePublished 15 months ago by A. McAuley
A superb account of the origins of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Very readable and, in places, quite moving. Highly recommended.Published 17 months ago by C. J. Newbould
Look for similar items by category
- Books > Art, Architecture & Photography > Architecture > Types of Architecture > Memorials & Monuments
- Books > History > Britain & Ireland > World War I 1914-1918
- Books > History > Europe > World War I 1914-1918
- Books > History > Military History > World War I
- Books > History > World History > World War I 1914-1918