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Books for the centenary


seaJane
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I think this, so far, wins my prize for the most awful-sounding title to commemorate the centenary: I quote the Bookseller and the friend who sent the link to me:

An interesting item from today’s online Bookseller:

http://www.thebookseller.com/news/e-nesbit-sequel-faber-it-grows-kids-list.html

Faber has signed a new books from Kate Saunders [...]

Kate Saunders’ Five Children on the Western Front will be a sequel to E Nesbit’s classic Five Children and It. The book, aimed at children aged nine and up, is set in 1914, with the children now older and ready to take part in the First World War. When the younger siblings meet the magical Psammead, even his magic cannot change history. Alice Swann, commissioning editor of children’s books, signed world rights to the book and two others from Caradoc King at A P Watt, and plans to release in hardback in October 2014.

Inclined, frankly, to run away screaming...

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Inclined, frankly, to run away screaming...

seaJane, I'll be right behind you. Pete.

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Maybe our version of the chicken dance then, because I'll join!

H

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I would think that this is a bit pointless as in the recent film version (Eddie Izzard voicing It), the children use a wish to bring their father home safely - RFC missing in action on the Western Front.

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It may be best just to boycott any Great War titles published for the first time between now and 2019.

Keith

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I think a boycott a non buy to far. There will be meretricious works but there are, and will be more worthwhile, books published over the next five years. Falkland Max's contribution and Alan Mallinson's - despite the fact I do not consider either flawless - Peter Harts new history of the Great are are all highly accessible, readable and professional - of value both to the reasonably knowledgeable and the tyro approaching the Great War for the first time alike. Not least Amazon offers, effectively two for the price of one purchases. Bring 'em on I say. Just be discriminating in your purchases.

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It may be best just to boycott any Great War titles published for the first time between now and 2019.

Keith

I hope the war memoir of my great-uncle Captain Frank Vans Agnew MC, KEH and Tank Corps, won't come into that category when it appears in (I hope) April.

VETERAN VOLUNTEER
Memoir of the Trenches, Tanks and Captivity 1914 – 1919 by Frank Vans Agnew (Ed. Jamie Vans) is to be published in about April 2014 by Pen & Sword Books.

Jamie.

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Maybe the tongue in my cheek was not visible, but I certainly plan to show considerable restraint on new titles, most of all the very general ones that celebrity authors produce. Unfortunately the titles that I tend to get now are older ones, and they often strain the budget. Last week's treat, a hard cover edition of Leeds in the Great War was only a few shillings shy of £45.

Keith

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Jamie. Agreed. Don't lump my book in this category when it finally gets printed, again hopefully before the end of the year.

Not Forgotten. Milnrow and District Heroes of the First World War. Ralph.

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I think it's the fiction that worries me more...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Maybe the tongue in my cheek was not visible, but I certainly plan to show considerable restraint on new titles, most of all the very general ones that celebrity authors produce. Unfortunately the titles that I tend to get now are older ones, and they often strain the budget. Last week's treat, a hard cover edition of Leeds in the Great War was only a few shillings shy of £45.

Keith

It's alright Keith, I didn't really think you were serious!

Jamie.

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It may be best just to boycott any Great War titles published for the first time between now and 2019.

Keith

I may soon be able to suggest one exception.

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There was a double review in the Independent of Jeremy Paxmans book (fairly complementary) and another by Kate Adie 'Fighting on the home front: The legacy of women in world war one' (not so complimentary. The reviewer rightly questioned why these books were written by TV presenters and not recognised historians. So perhaps best to avoid 'Celeb' WW1 books.

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Indeed, had wondered -do these celebs get ghostwriters in ? Perhaps some graduate interns ! I am also not convinced that busy celebs really have time to take part in historical research.

There was a double review in the Independent of Jeremy Paxmans book (fairly complementary) and another by Kate Adie 'Fighting on the home front: The legacy of women in world war one' (not so complimentary. The reviewer rightly questioned why these books were written by TV presenters and not recognised historians. So perhaps best to avoid 'Celeb' WW1 books.

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Indeed, had wondered -do these celebs get ghostwriters in ? Perhaps some graduate interns ! I am also not convinced that busy celebs really have time to take part in historical research.

Michael

Don't underestimate Paxman, either as a writer or as an (amateur) historian. His books on Empire and the Victorians are well written and perceptive and were well reviewed. Both looked at their subjects from the angle of the impact of events on ordinary people and I believe (admittedly having only read reviews and extracts so far) that the Great War book is cut from the same cloth. I don't expect for a minute that it will rival Adrian Gregory's 'The Last Great War' as a scholarly social history but I would be surprised if it is anything less than interesting and accessible.

David

PS I doubt the BBC's chief political interviewer would be thrilled to be referred to as a 'celeb'!

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Yes point taken.

EDIT Certainly choking on humble pie about being cynical re. Paxman.

Found an interview in 'The Independent ' of 8th October 2013 which Sea Jane highlighted on a related thread and was quite impressed !

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/jeremy-paxman-blasts-david-cameron-over-wwi-centenary-comments-8866630.html

Michael

Don't underestimate Paxman, either as a writer or as an (amateur) historian. His books on Empire and the Victorians are well written and perceptive and were well reviewed. Both looked at their subjects from the angle of the impact of events on ordinary people and I believe (admittedly having only read reviews and extracts so far) that the Great War book is cut from the same cloth. I don't expect for a minute that it will rival Adrian Gregory's 'The Last Great War' as a scholarly social history but I would be surprised if it is anything less than interesting and accessible.

David

PS I doubt the BBC's chief political interviewer would be thrilled to be referred to as a 'celeb'!

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