Jump to content
Free downloads from TNA ×
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Philip Warner


Steven Broomfield

Recommended Posts

How odd. In our local Waterstone's this morning, I noticed this has been republished ny Pen and sword, at £19.99 (or thereabouts).

Why? It's not very good, contains huge inaccuracies (such as Piper McKenzie, VC - sic), and has been supreseded by at least two books (by Nick Lloyd and Nial Cherry) based on primary research and newly-released documents.

What justification is there for reprinting a 30 year-old book, with no apparent update (even the photos are the same)?

I bought my copy for 50p many years ago, and I've always wished I'd spent the money on booze or birds.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Does that mean you would not recommend it?

As you have said, there are much better books and I am suprised P&S have bothered.

sn

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Admin

Not one I would rush out and buy either. Have an old hardback copy, can't remember how much it cost.

Michelle

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are we seeing the beginning of the filling of shelves with anything that might sell to capitalise on the growing interest in the G.W. as we near the 100th Anniversaries?

Jim

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think Steven's summed that up pretty well and in fact, I think I nominated that book on an old thread here which went along the lines of, "What's the worst WW1 book you've read?" I see that I paid eleven pounds for my copy back in 1981 so Steven, don't feel too downhearted.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember that thread, Paul (I think I contributed), but I've never managed to master the arcanities of the Forum serach function.

And, Mr Smithson, I think you are the most appalling cynic. ;)

And the answer for Mr Morse is probably contained in Mr Smithson's answer. Lots of people who don't know better will see it and leap in.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"And, Mr Smithson, I think you are the most appalling cynic."

It comes of spending all your working life with teenagers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I live with two.

I see what you mean.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not being nasty but did Philip Warner actually write any good books? I've flogged off all the ones I ever bought because in my view they were pretty hopeless. I seem to recall that the only ones I thought were half decent were his paperback series on British battlefields, but I've even got rid of them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I bought Warner's Loos book at the same time as MacDonalds, 1915. Along with Donkeys, I think they were the only readily available books covering the period. There have been a few much better ones since.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mark, it's interesting you say that. The reprint has a biog of PW, and a long list of his many books, which seem to cover an extremely wide spread of subjects. In itself that might not be a bad thing, but it seems he was not an historian; he turned to history after a career elsewhere (I didn't bother to read too much - life's relatively short). A quick Google suggests P&S might be rolling out a few of his books as reprints.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Warner had a very varied career: wartime soldier, civil servant in the Treasury and lecturer at RMA Sandhurst. He certainly churned them out. His biography of Auchinleck, 'The Lonely Soldier' used to be considered his major work. However I think it is now regarded as fatally flawed by the rather significant aspects of the Auk's life it chooses to omit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Niall Cherry's book (IIRC, Most Unfortunate Ground) is a good history of the battle, whereas Nick Lloyd's book (IIRC, The Battle of Loos) is a very good history with more of the 'politics' behind it. Both recommended; the Lloyd probably being the better.

I also believe both are available: I bought Lloyd's book in paper back a month or so ago (though my wife doesn't know).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

P&S have recently reprinted lots of ... ahem... "classics". Some very good ones among them, too. I presume that Warner's Loos, which I agree has been overtaken by more recent scholarly work, falls into this same category. Why reprint these things, I do not know. I don't think any of the ones I have seen reprinted were originally Leo Cooper or P&S titles so perhaps they have acquired some rights.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just remembered: Niall Cherry's book is Most Unfavourable Ground

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can anyone give me a better book on Loos - I had a rel KIA there.

David

Gordon Corrigan," Loos 1915: Unwanted Battle". Nick Lloyd, " Loos: 1915". Niall's book as mentioned and a tiny little book in the " Forgotten Battles" series, which I cannot lay my hand on at the moment but I think is simply called " Loos". The appropriate book for 1915 from the Official History is really the best by far. All the facts and background with notes on the German battle etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was browsing through the Pen & Sword catalogue this morning and, yes, the Warner book is advertised there. What struck me more forcibly was a book due out this month: it is a groundbreaking piece of research which is sure to challenge the preconceptions of many researchers into the Great War. I give you the title, as advertised, in full -

"Tank Action in the Great War. B Battalion's Experiences 1914"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gordon Corrigan," Loos 1915: Unwanted Battle". Nick Lloyd, " Loos: 1915". Niall's book as mentioned and a tiny little book in the " Forgotten Battles" series, which I cannot lay my hand on at the moment but I think is simply called " Loos". The appropriate book for 1915 from the Official History is really the best by far. All the facts and background with notes on the German battle etc.

Tom,

Perhaps on the tip of your tongue.....Michael Gavaghan's pocket book on Loos.....also the two Battleground Europe efforts......

Thanks guys, I'll have a look around, should be in Oz, if not can try Amazon

David

David,

Helion ought to ship MuG down under......they are the publlisher and have a web site etc

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On Loos, Niall Cherry's Most Unfavourable Ground is outstanding. I found Corrigan's book on Loos unreadable - very muddled and not well written. I agree with all the criticisms of Philip Warner's book. However, it does have one virtue. He was just in time to harvest the recollections of many of those who took part in the Battle of Loos. Of course, they were recollections through the prism of some 60 years or so, but they do provide a vivid set of memories.

jeremym

(Jeremy Mitchell)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oops,

My mum gave me a copy of Warner's "Passchendale" recently, again a Pen & Sword reprint. Does this book stack up better than the "Loos" book?

Scott

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dunno, Scott - Loos was bad enough to deter me from anything else by him, I'm afraid.

There are so many good books about Passchendaele that I really don't see why Warner's would be worth having.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sounds bad Steve. Might move it to the bottom of the pile.

Is Warner's writing that bad?

Scott.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Scott,

I'm not sure that the issue is with Warner's writing; it is just the words and the order that he uses them.

:D

Roxy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...