Love and the Loveless: A Soldier's Tale

Paperback, Pocket Classics series, Alan Sutton, 1997.



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Description

 

Volume 7 in the 15-volume A Chronicle of Ancient Sunlight series.

 

The publisher's blurb for the first edition (1958) states: 'The year covered by this novel was perhaps the darkest of the Great War. After the disastrous Nivelle offensive in Champagne in the spring of 1917 there were widespread mutinies in the French Army, and the consequent need by Sir Douglas Haig to engage over eighty German divisions in the battle of the Ypres Salient in the summer, autumn and early winter of that year.

 

'Phillip Maddison, a young transport officer, veteran of the battles of 1914, 1915, and 1916 is obsessed by the "war". He is near enough to it; but able to return after each sweating night's journey with his mules and limbers, and sleep. He is also able to keep going because the girl he loved was killed in a Zeppelin raid, because he believes that only poetry justifies life and because he is sustained by the friendship of comrades who like him. He has found himself – but in a world of death. With the help of whisky and water it is perhaps an unnatural courage; but he endures.'

 

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