The Wet Flanders Plain

Hardback, Gliddon Books, 1987, with an introduction by Richard Williamson.

Book condition: excellent, with dust wrapper.
Price: £10.00


The Wet Flanders Plain, first published in 1929, has become a minor classic of First World War literature. The publisher's blurb to this revised edition, augmented with new material, reads: 'The Wet Flanders Plain is Henry Williamson's testimony to his experience of the Great War. Out of print for over 50 years, it the account of a journey back to the battlefields of Ypres, Passchendaele and the Somme where the charabancs tracking the arc of the mine-craters and the tourists staring at the rusting howitzers prompt a work of elegiac reminiscence. Barely 19 years of age at the time of his call-up, Williamson's life was deeply affected by "the wraith of the war": The Wet Flanders Plain is the result of his desire to "return to my old comrades . . . to the brown, the treeless, the flat and grave-set plain of Flanders – to the rolling, heat-miraged downlands of the Somme – for I am dead with them, and they live in me again". Full of subtle vignettes, both of the progress of battle and encounters with other revenants, it is one of the finest memoirs to come out of the war.


'This new edition, which coincides with the 10th anniversary of Williamson's death, contains the five newspaper articles written on his return to the battlefields in 1964 [titled "Return to Hell", these were published in the Evening Standard] as well as previously unpublished photographs taken on the original journey and a new introduction by Richard Williamson, the author's son.'


(For a further consideration of the book and the background to the writing of it, see Anne Williamson's The Wet Flanders Plain.)