My rating: 4 of 5 stars
There are a lot of books out at the moment to do with the first world war. I’ve been privileged to review several of them, and when I saw this on NetGalley I was very keen to take a look.
It’s a powerful, precise collection this, drawing together viewpoints from a diverse range of public figures including Raymond Briggs, Miranda Hart, Jacqueline Wilson and Shami Chakrabarti. These and many more figures pick out elements ranging from poetry to comics through to newspaper extracts that mean something to them and tell something unique about the war. And they do, these extracts, they are moving and funny and piercingly exact at points (this war, any war, it happens to people, people like you and I, and it is sometimes so easy to forget that).
What’s also very lovely about this is the mixture of sources and how there’s some outstanding poetry (Dulce et Decorum Est, anyone?)coupled with sources such as a comic strip. I like the mixture of primary and secondary sources from a variety of media, and thought it could quite easily inspire exercises in creating similar scrapbooks. There’s a lot here in these pages, and there’s a lot here which pays tribute, loud and long, to the people who were there. A beautiful, eloquent book.