Ryan

The Decline and Death of a War Hero

John Hamilton offers us a highly readable book, far-ranging and varied in subject and focus, subtle in its survey of the paradoxes of the human heart. The very title is itself a bundle of veiled conjectures; the author might well have completed his title for us with his own question-mark, so that it would read: The Price of Valour? Can valour have a price? Turn to John Manifold’s deeply moving poem “The Tomb of Lt John Learmonth, AIF”. Manifold laments the death of his boyhood friend who, without the faintest hope of survival, died fighting singlehanded against the Germans on…

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