War Letters of Fallen Englishmen
Edited by Laurence Housman. Foreword by Jay Winter
"Excellent, truth-telling letters."—Edmund Blunden
"In this book we get what, after all, I must call the real thing."—H. W. Nevinson
"The whole book is of such a quality as to stir the remembrance of 'the hope and promise of youth, which the wastefulness of war has carried away.'"—Times Literary Supplement
More than eight million young men perished during the First World War—a staggering figure. The natural reaction to such a great loss of humanity was to forget the individuals and recast the conflict into one of faceless armies and battles commemorated in stone and metal monuments. War Letters of Fallen Englishmen was published following the war in order to remind the living of those who were lost in the name of the British crown—brothers, husbands, fathers, sons.
This collection provides, in the very words of those who participated and died in combat, the closest approximation possible to the experience of war. Carefully selected from thousands of letters, those in this collection are poignant, powerful, and graphic and were chosen for their depth of perception, the intensity of their descriptions, and their messages to future generations. This edition contains a new foreword by the distinguished World War I historian Jay Winter.
Laurence Housman (1865-1959), younger brother of A. E. Housman, was an accomplished illustrator, musician, and author of more than eighty works of poetry, fiction, plays, nonfiction, and stories for children.
Jay Winter, Professor of History at Yale University, is the author of many books, including Sites of Memory, Sites of Mourning: The Great War in European Cultural History. He was cowriter and chief historian for the PBS series The Great War and the Shaping of the Twentieth Century, which won an Emmy award in 1997.