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catfishmo

Online book: An Onlooker in France by Sir William Orpen

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catfishmo

An Onlooker in France by Sir William Orpen K.B.E., R.A. http://www.gutenberg.org/files/20215/20215-h/20215-h.htm#imgVI

Appears this guy is an illustrator (as it includes some 96 sketches) and jotted memoirs of some of his travels on the Western Front. There is no introduction, so the purpose of the book is hard to tell. A quick skim shows him not to be a very accomplished writer, but he gives a little 'local color' when describing places like The Somme and Ypres.

One thing that sets this apart from many other accounts is that it covers 1917-1919. In my research it seemed there were more 'diary' type things for the early years of the war than for the latter years.

Table of contents pasted below.

CONTENTS

Chap.
PREFACE
I.TO FRANCE (APRIL 1917)
II.THE SOMME (APRIL 1917)
III.AT BRIGADE HEADQUARTERS AND ST. POL (MAY-JUNE 1917)
IV.THE YPRES SALIENT (JUNE-JULY 1917)
V.THE SOMME IN SUMMER-TIME (AUGUST 1917)
VI.THE SOMME (SEPTEMBER 1917)
VII.WITH THE FLYING CORPS (OCTOBER 1917)
VIII.CASSEL AND IN HOSPITAL (NOVEMBER 1917)
IX.WINTER (1917-1918)
X.LONDON (MARCH-JUNE 1918)
XI.BACK IN FRANCE (JULY-SEPTEMBER 1918)
XII.AMIENS (OCTOBER 1918)
XIII.NEARING THE END (OCTOBER 1918)
XIV.THE PEACE CONFERENCE
XV.PARIS DURING THE PEACE CONFERENCE
XVI.THE SIGNING OF THE PEACE
INDEX

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ianw

"this guy" is not just an illustrator.

One of the greatest of the Great War's artists and a particularly good portraitist .

"..adds a little "local color" when describing places like the Somme and Ypres. " Quite so.

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Black Maria

A book best appreciated in its original form, I would dare to suggest.

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squirrel

Agree with blackmaria - the book is the far better form to enjoy and appreciate the work of this artist.

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Gareth Davies

And seeing one of his paintings in the flesh/canvas would be an even better form to enjoy and appreciate how work :)

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kenf48

A book best appreciated in its original form, I would dare to suggest.

Agreed, the online version although free does not do his work justice as there are no colour prints.

The reader can however look at the BBC website where there are 198 paintings by 'this guy' which vividly show his skill as a portrait artist of many Great War figures as well as his vivid paintings of the Somme. http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/artists/william-orpen He was made KBE for his war 'sketches'.

(Apparently he turned down £1m to work for a dealer in America...I wonder why?)

Ken

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Black Maria

Agreed, the online version although free does not do his work justice as there are no colour prints.

The reader can however look at the BBC website where there are 198 paintings by 'this guy' which vividly show his skill as a portrait artist of many Great War figures as well as his vivid paintings of the Somme. http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/artists/william-orpen He was made KBE for his war 'sketches'.

(Apparently he turned down £1m to work for a dealer in America...I wonder why?)

Ken

Thanks for the link, he really was a superb artist.

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ianw

Much enjoyed looking again at his wonderful art when I last visited the IWM .

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