Tagged with First World War

Giant’s Bread by Mary Westmacott (1930)

Book review by George S: This is the first of the novels that Agatha Christie published under the name of Mary Westmacott. It is an odd book, though an interesting one. (Warning: The review contains spoilers.) It begins with a prologue, the opening night of a new opera, The Giant, by an unknown Russian composer. … Continue reading

Living Alone (1919) by Stella Benson

Book review by Sophie H: Stella Benson’s 1919 novel Living Alone opens with an eccentric young woman (who is later revealed to have magical powers) bursting into a meeting of the ‘Committee for War Savings’, after being chased for stealing a bun. The witch, who through a misunderstanding eventually becomes known as Angela although she … Continue reading

The Fortune (1917) by Douglas Goldring

Book review by George S: This month the reading group looked at books featuring war resisters and the war-sceptical. I read The Fortune by Douglas Goldring, a novel which could not find a publisher in England in 1917, but was published in Ireland by the firm of Maunsell and Co. It is reckoned that only … Continue reading

The Bulpington of Blup (1932) by H.G. Wells

Book Review by George S: 1932 is a long time after H.G. Wells’s brilliant scientific fables of the 1890s, and over the intervening period he had developed into a pretty bad novelist. But of The Bulpington of Blup, one can say that, while it is indeed not a good novel, it is not as dreary … Continue reading

Man and Maid (1922) by Elinor Glyn

Book Review by George S: This is a thoroughly unpleasant book. It takes the form of the journal of Sir Nicholas Thormonde, who has been wounded in the Great War: I am sick of my life—The war has robbed it of all that a young man can find of joy.I look at my mutilated face … Continue reading

The Woman of Knockaloe (1923) by Hall Caine

Review by George S: This novel comes with two forewords, one by Newman Flower, the head of Cassell’s publishing house, and one by the author. The gist of each is that this book will disturb and offend some, but that it is a story that needs to be told.

Gallipoli Memories (1929) by Compton Mackenzie

Book Review by George S. We’ve been reading fiction by Compton Mackenzie this month, but I deviated from the brief slightly by reading an example of his non-fiction. He published Gallipoli Memories in 1929, fourteen years after his participation in the unsuccessful military campaign. He tells us that he had spent years pursuing ‘that elusive … Continue reading

The War-Workers* (1918) by E M Delafield (EMD)

  This month we have been reading books about women in war… I was looking things up for this review and found: ‘…those who knew her books…were astonished at her power to detect and expose humbug, self-importance, careerism and conceit.  The woman who by self-imposed martyrdom inflicts constant trouble and annoyance on her family and … Continue reading