Ryan

The Greatest of All War Novels

To American writer Daniel Boorstin, a “celebrity” was a person “well-known for being well-known”. By reverse reasoning we could describe Australian expatriate author Frederic Manning (1882–1935) as “famous for being forgotten”. A fresh example of his curious status has just arisen. In the London Spectator of December 13 last year, Hugh Cecil reviews what appears to be an excellent study of the many memoirs left by the soldier-participants of the First World War. The author is the distinguished modern military historian Brian Bond, and Cecil calls his work “absorbing and affectionate”, and written by one who has laboured for a…

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