Unrivaled in its range and intensity, the poetry of World War I continues to have a powerful effect on readers. This newly edited anthology reflects the diverse experiences of those who lived through the war, bringing together the words of poets, soldiers, and civilians affected by the conflict. Here are famous verses by Rupert Brooke, Siegfried Sassoon, and Wilfred Owen; poetry by women writing from the home front; and the anonymous lyrics of soldiers’ songs. Arranged thematically, the selections take the reader through the war’s stages, from conscription to its aftermath, and offer a blend of voices that is both unique and profoundly moving.
After a court martial in January 1917, five Frenchmen convicted of self-mutilation (in order to avoid combat) are dragged along the network of zigzagging trenches to the improbably named frontline trench, “Bingo Crepuscule.” What exactly happened in Bingo is as labyrinthine as the trenches themselves, but Mathilde Donnay, the fiancee of one of the soldiers, is a determined young woman whose wheelchair is unable to contain her fiercely independent and willful spirit. Aided by an indulgent, well-to-do father, a generous private investigator, soldiers who survived the conflict and the families of those who didn’t, Mathilde begins the long and spotty process of re-creating events out of the chaos of war.
It is said that Verdun made France, but what did France make of Verdun? Like many battles, Verdun was bloody and indecisive, a symbol of the war’s mechanization and horror. Historian Paul Jankowski reexamines the longest battle of the Great War, drawing on both French and German sources, to tell both the military history and a social and cultural perspectives.
This new collection of short stories about World War I features works by such famous British authors as Joseph Conrad, W. Somerset Maugham, Arthur Conan Doyle, John Buchan, Rudyard Kipling, D. H. Lawrence, John Galsworthy, Radclyffe Hall, Katherine Mansfield, Robert Graves, Muriel Spark, and Julian Barnes. Written during the war and after, these stories illustrate the impact of the Great War on British society and culture, as well as the many ways in which short fiction contributed to the literature of that time period.
Ferocious and all encompassing, the First World War touched countless lives in Europe and far beyond. Historian Susan R. Grayzel explores the unprecedented nature of modern “Total War,” and outlines the origins, experiences, and legacies of the war through — and beyond — Europe and the West. A wide array of documents, ranging from nationalist propaganda and diplomatic agreements to poetry and intimate letters and journals, reveal the far-reaching causes and consequences of this total war.
Remarque’s 1929 classic has been called the greatest book about war ever written. Follow German soldier Paul Baumer, who enlists with his classmates in the opening days of the war. Youthful, enthusiastic, they become soldiers. But despite what they have learned, they break into pieces under the first bombardment in the trenches. Whether any will survive — and in what condition, physical and emotional — holds readers until the end.
This introductory essay by project scholar Wendy Galgan overviews the topics and themes of the series. The essay, available as a free downloadable PDF, is recommended for prospective host sites, scholar-facilitators, or participants in the series.
The introductory essay by project scholar Wendy Galgan lays out the scope of the series and will help facilitators formulate a syllabus and questions of their own.
To host this Reading & Discussion program, please review the application guidelines, and follow the link to our online application.