Learn more Download now Shop now Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle The Grand Tour Prize Draw Shop now Shop Women's Shop Men's

Customer Review

TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 28 January 2014
Unlike most histories of WW1, this book focuses very much more on the families left behind than the experiences of the soldiers at the Front. Inevitably the fighting at the Front plays a role in the narrative, but the focus is very much on the experience of the women left alone to cope at home - ranging from the financial support received from the government, the all-too-brief periods of leave, the heartrending official notifications, the uncertainty of the 'missing', the debates and controversies over the decision not to repatriate the dead, the varying means of grieving.

Like all of van Emden's books, it draws heavily on primary sources and survivor testimony, which, to my mind at least, makes the narrative that much more personal and moving. Reading the words of soldiers' letters home or the memoirs of grieving fathers or the recollections of men and women who scarcely knew the fathers who never came home, makes the soldiers featured here real people, rather than the amorphous grey mass of soldiery that feature in so many histories of WW1.

Unlike WW2, where the Home Front really was a Front in the war and there were no lines to shelter behind, civilians in WW1 were to a large extent cushioned from the horror of Belgium and France; which is not to say that these fathers and mothers and wives and children were not suffering too, in their own way. Van Emden infuses these accounts with real dignity and pathos, highlighting that neither soldiers nor their families could really comprehend the experiences the other went though in wartime, but the pain felt was no less real, and no less lifelong, for that.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse| Permalink
What's this?

What are product links?

In the text of your review, you can link directly to any product offered on Amazon.com. To insert a product link, follow these steps:
1. Find the product you want to reference on Amazon.com
2. Copy the web address of the product
3. Click Insert product link
4. Paste the web address in the box
5. Click Select
6. Selecting the item displayed will insert text that looks like this: [[ASIN:014312854XHamlet (The Pelican Shakespeare)]]
7. When your review is displayed on Amazon.com, this text will be transformed into a hyperlink, like this:Hamlet (The Pelican Shakespeare)

You are limited to 10 product links in your review, and your link text may not be longer than 256 characters.

Product Details

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
£8.59+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime