A Test to Destruction

Hardback, Macdonald, first edition, 1960.

Book condition: ex-library copy, with the usual library stamps; the dust wrapper has been incorporated as a part of the binding, together with a protective plastic sheet. Internally sound, though, and a good reading copy.
Price: £3.50


Volume 8 in the 15-volume A Chronicle of Ancient Sunlight series.


The publisher's blurb for Alan Sutton edition (1997) states: 'After the harsh winter of 1917/18, everyone is almost at the end of their endurance – the combatants' minds full of the millions dead, fallen on the treeless, grave-set plain of Flanders and elsewhere, while those at home are worn out by rationing, fear and grief. Hetty, temporarily relieved with Phillip safe at home, hopes desperately that, after four spells of fighting, her son will not be posted to France again. Phillip, however, determined to return to the Front, surreptitiously adds his name to the list of those available for active service. Soon he is back on the Hindenburg Line as an infantry officer, How will it end?'


The action covers the German Spring Offensive of March 1918, their last desperate throw of the dice before the full effect is felt of the Americans' arrival in France, and the first aftermath of peace, with Phillip's tentative forays into the literary world.


(For a further consideration of the book and the background to the writing of it, see Anne Williamson's A Test to Destruction.)