An intimate history of the First World War through published and personal writings
Far more than an anthology, FOR KING AND COUNTRY is Brian MacArthur's attempt to write a history of the First World War by drawing on the writings of those who were present at the events they describe. Those writings will be drawn from a broad range of sources: from, most obviously, the officers and men who served on the western front at the Somme and elsewhere, accounts of fear and tedium, horror and occasional joy; also from those were left behind on the home front to wait for news of their loved ones.
As well as letters, diary entries and memoir extracts, the book will also include the songs sung in the trenches by the men at the front; there are poems too, the less well known alongside the familiar. The material reproduced will be linked by Brian MacArthur's commentary and notes to create a seamless and movingly immediate narrative of the First World War.
'The strength of For King and Country is what it teaches us about the indomitable human spirit . . . it is impossible to read without comparing the folly of the politicians and the generals with the quiet heroism of the men they sent to die - The Times
A fascinating and important collection of contemporary letters, speeches, diary extracts and newspaper reports - Daily Express
What appeals to me most about this book . . . is its generosity of tone . . . The book s best feature, however, is the inclusion of so much 'new' material from unfamiliar sources . . . Concisely and deftly introduced, handsomely produced and illustrated, this is a worthy volume for the war s 90th anniversary, which I heartily commend. - BBC History Magazine
Brian MacArthur works for the Daily Telegraph, having for worked many years as an executive editor on The Times. He is the editor of THE PENGUIN BOOK OF 20TH-CENTURY SPEECHES and THE PENGUIN BOOK OF HISTORIC SPEECHES among others.
Author Location: London and Norfolk
SURVIVING THE SWORD (978 0 349 11937 3)