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Advanced Search. The limited first edition of Frederic Manning's powerful novel, set in the trenches during the First World War. The novel was written in response to the sudden demand in the late s for literary material dealing with the war. Whereas before the war Manning acheived little real success with his literary efforts, this work is considered one of the most important novels dealing with the conflict.

His own experience of battle informs the work throughout, both in its emotional tenor and factual detail. The novel was originally published under the pseudonym Private - Manning's own number during the war. His authorship was not widely confirmed until the 70s. As he says in the introduction, "in recording the conversations of the men I seemed at times to hear the voices of ghosts. This first edition was printed on handmade paper and limited to copies. This is number Direct from the library of the late Hugh Selbourne MD a noted book collector and diarist. In the original cloth with gilt lettering to the spines.


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Externally excellent with a small mark to the front board of volume two only. Volume two has a couple of small spots to the foredge. Internally, clean and bright, and firmly bound. Thank you so much -- it is a lovely book and I am greatly looking forward to reading it. Thanks for the excellent service. I'll browse your site frequently in the future. Thank you very much for an excellent, fast service. Granddad took me fishing a few times and he never said that much, but from him I inherited my need to be quiet and to be by the water.

I found out about him and his war later. And as I did, I began to understand the links he'd always made between November 5 and I also inherited an empty chocolate tin, a watch, a cap badge and his service medals.

The Middle Parts of Fortune. Somme & Ancre, 1916.

And the souvenir union jack my grandma waved in the market square the day her best boy set out for France. Her best boy never came back. They never even found his corpse. But when my granddad returned on leave, smart and dapper in his uniform, he became her new best boy and my grandma moderated her grief. July 1 , he was there. First battle of the Somme in the war to end all wars. The so-called Great War. The whistle blew and he went over the top with the rest of them, all the other best boys, sons, sweethearts, husbands and lovers.

The Middle Parts of Fortune by Frederic Manning, Niall Ferguson | Waterstones

He saw my Uncle Arthur who wasn't really an uncle take a British bullet in the mouth on the way up to the line that fine July morning and then he saw his friend, who wasn't really a friend, lose his head and then his legs to a misplaced British shell. But my granddad came back. He was gassed later. Truth be told he gassed himself - a slight misunderstanding over the correct spanner with which to undo a gas canister, a delayed order and a wind change over no man's land.

But he came back all the same and my grandma polished his green chlorined buttons back to brass and off he went again to learn to fly. The Royal Flying Corps trained him but couldn't provide him with an aeroplane in which he could finally try to kill himself. So my granddad came back again. And he never totally recovered from the fact that he came back. Survivors rarely forgive themselves. Around this time every year I take a trip to the place from where my granddad never really returned. It starts and finishes inside my head, just as it did for him.

I am glad he was an Australian, for this is a profoundly democratic book. I know of no story of the first world war which is so effectively written, not only from the ranks, but from the point of view of the ranks it remains, with Richard Mahony, almost alone among the products of Australian writers. It justifies every heat of praise. Its virtues will be recognised more and more as time goes on. It was issued to the public the following year under the title Her Privates We, with some minor alterations made in concession to the conventions of the time.

This is singularly the finest novel I've read concerning the lives of combatants in WWI. Fighting or "going over the top" make up only a small portion of the narrative which deals primarily the minds of the common soldier; how they support one another; how the cope with inner and outer hardships; and often, how they find solace in one another and through simple events.

The subtlety and sensitivity which Manning employs in dealing with the characters is remarkable.

The Middle Parts Of Fortune

There are no stereotypes among This is singularly the finest novel I've read concerning the lives of combatants in WWI. There are no stereotypes among them; they are all very real, down to the manner of their speech. Both are truly excellent works, but to me, the minds of the soldiers are better explored by Manning. Take these comments for what the are and draw your own conclusions, though I find it difficult to believe that one could read this book and not find it touching and captivating.

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The best book I've read written by someone who was in the trenches. Superb in understanding, in character development, in revealing what life was like on The Somme both in battle and between "shows". The central character and his comrades meant as much to me as any I have read of in either factual or fictional accounts though where the truth lies is a case for doctrinal study. My grandfather was there. I never met him. Never knew much of him until standing before a memorial stone in his local The best book I've read written by someone who was in the trenches.

Never knew much of him until standing before a memorial stone in his local village church. He survived the hostilities but struggled with life after he returned and died in his early thirties. I feel I know him better through reading this book.

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Hemingway read it every July to remind himself what it was like and to counsel himself against failing to tell it as it was. I will most certainly be reading it again. I have barely begun to absorb what this book has to tell me. I'm not sure my mind is big enough to contain all I might learn from this. Sep 17, Deirdre rated it it was ok. Portrayed very well the tedium of a soldier's life, the petty squabbling between officers, and the commitment to not imagine the future, but the problem with that is that it made the book tedious.

The author did do a good job of capturing the vernacular of the common soldier, and I like the description of how in battle the differences between extremities of feelings are collapsed such that hope and despair, and determination and terror exist simultaneously. But mostly I found it meandering and s Portrayed very well the tedium of a soldier's life, the petty squabbling between officers, and the commitment to not imagine the future, but the problem with that is that it made the book tedious.

But mostly I found it meandering and sometimes clumsy.

I followed a train of thought via the internet a few weeks back and ended up reading about the Ottoman Empire in WWI and how it was one of four empires toppled by the war.