Top positive review
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An interesting read
on 12 September 2014
A goodish curate's egg, redeemed by the interesting anecdotes on on many topics, some unexpected (e,g. Who clears up the battleground mess? It's there on pp124-5).
Don't expect a measured historical account: as outlined in the Introduction (which, it appears, few of the 1-3 star critics have bothered to read). It sets out to describe the varied ways in which grief was handled in the silence which followed the Armistice, over a two-year time-span (which, it seems to have escaped the critics, is the period usually quoted in psychological accounts of the process of grief.)
All this it does very well, in a narrative, based on the experiences of people at all levels of society, which addresses the social structure and climate of its day. The latter was set to a substantial degree by the moneyed and titled classes; working people really _did_ defer to the aristocracy, and showed enormous interest in its doings, whether from wishful thinking or justified resentment of the inequalities involved, and I have to say that I found the treatment of all social groups evenly balanced, if I bear that aspect of social attitudes in mind.
The aristocrats and the well-off were the footballers, the popular music heroes, the Posh and Becks of their day; those who complain about an apparent excess of emphasis on them might bear this in mind if they ever set out to describe the climate of our own times to a 22nd century audience, in a way that reflects everyone's interests, and not simply their own.