A lieutenant writes of digging through bodies that have the consistency of Camembert cheese a mother sends flower seeds to her son at the Front, hoping that one day someone may see them grow a nurse tends a man back to health knowing he will be court martialled and shot as soon as he is fitIn this extraordinarily powerful and diverse selection of diaries, letters and memories many of which have never been published before privates and officers, seamen and airmen, munitions workers and mothers, nurses and pacifists, prisoners of war and conscientious objectors appear alongside each other The war involved people from so many different backgrounds and countries and included here are, among others, British, German, Russian and Indian voices Alongside testament from the many ordinary people whose lives were transformed by the events of, there are extracts from names that have become synonymous with the war, such as Siegfried Sassoon and TE Lawrence What unites them is a desire to express something of the horror, the loss, the confusion and the desire to help or to protest A Broken World is an original collection of personal and defining moments that offer an unprecedented insight into the Great War as it was experienced and as it was rememberedEdited by the bestselling author of Birdsong and Dr Hope Wolf, this is an original and illuminating non fiction anthology of writing on the First World War


10 thoughts on “A Broken World: Letters, Diaries and Memories of the Great War

  1. Saturday& Saturday& says:

    This anthology has some poignant letters, diary entries and written accounts from both soldiers and civilians who were affected by the events of World War 1 As Sebastian Faulks writes in the introduction, a century later it is still hard to appreciate the scale of what happened or to make sense of it.


  2. Susan Liston Susan Liston says:

    a collection of letters with a few essays from famous writers Most of them very sad in some way, of course, don t know why I torture myself with this sort of thing, which I can only read in small doses But it s nicely put together.


  3. Lisa Lisa says:

    A Broken World Letters, Diaries and Memories of the Great War is a collection of writings edited by Sebastian Faulks and Hope Wolf that focus on personal experiences of those who lived through and endured World War I The first thing to praise is the great wealth of material and differing viewpoints that Faulks and Wolf provide A Broken World sources personal accounts from soldiers, pacifists, the women who were left behind and the refugees, and these from all sides of the war The autho A Broken World Letters, Diaries and Memories of the Great War is a collection of writings edited by Sebastian Faulks and Hope Wolf that focus on personal experiences of those who lived through and endured World War I The first thing to praise is the great wealth of material and differing viewpoints that Faulks and Wolf provide A Broken World sources personal accounts from soldiers, pacifists, the women who were left behind and the refugees, and these from all sides of the war The authors of the accounts are sometimes unknown, even anonymous, individuals, butfamous writers like Virginia Wolfe, Stuart Cloete, Robert Graves and Siegfried Sassoon are also represented There is a mix of themundane and the intensely emotional accounts.Faulks and Wolf have divided A Broken World into four parts, taking this vast amount of material and dividing it into four separate categories These categories try to address what it was like to hear of the war from far away, only able to imagine what it was really like, the experiences had at close quarters by the soldiers, how the war both divided and united nationalities and, finally, the sheer loss that resulted from the war that was supposed to end all wars.This is not an easy read It is staggeringly emotional, a book of an ugly beauty and a beautiful agony It is a book to treasure, to learn about the war and how the war was experienced In his introduction, Sebastian Faulks sets out the vastness of the war and the great questions it asks of us, even today It is a vastness that cannot be contained, compressed and represented in one book and the questions cannot be answered But A Broken World does help us, a hundred years after the beginning of the war, to understand somewhat what happened and how its impact still rings through modern society Disclaimer I received a free copy of this book from the publishers via Netgalley for review


  4. Chris Stanley Chris Stanley says:

    I m struggling to review this book It s an awesome collection, emotional, heartbreaking and uplifting all at once BUT The sort of book you can only read a bit at a time Ever since school I ve been fascinated by the initial oh what a lovely war mind set followed by the slowly building contrast of despair I ve read a few collections of poetry set in ww1, but never so many letters from such a wide range of people The collection is well thought out and satisfying to read Students studying bo I m struggling to review this book It s an awesome collection, emotional, heartbreaking and uplifting all at once BUT The sort of book you can only read a bit at a time Ever since school I ve been fascinated by the initial oh what a lovely war mind set followed by the slowly building contrast of despair I ve read a few collections of poetry set in ww1, but never so many letters from such a wide range of people The collection is well thought out and satisfying to read Students studying both Literature and History would benefit from such a collection


  5. Zoe Radley Zoe Radley says:

    I have been meaning to read this book since it came out and yes I was not let down I feel that this book should be on the list for schools to get for history as it depicts WWI through the eyes and minds and thoughts of the PEOPLE who lived,endured,survived and perished in that Great War this is how history should be told in schools not the dry dusty and countless data and military tactics that s outdated and this is what should be taught that people living people endured and suffered throughout I have been meaning to read this book since it came out and yes I was not let down I feel that this book should be on the list for schools to get for history as it depicts WWI through the eyes and minds and thoughts of the PEOPLE who lived,endured,survived and perished in that Great War this is how history should be told in schools not the dry dusty and countless data and military tactics that s outdated and this is what should be taught that people living people endured and suffered throughout that war


  6. Barbara Barbara says:

    To read the thoughts, reflections and memories of those who have lived through suffering and horrors that I cannot begin to comprehend, is confronting and deeply moving This diverse selection of writings gives voice to representatives from every part of British society those who were part of the armed forces, those they left behind, nurses, relief workers, prisoners of war, pacifists as well as from other countries affected by the Great War They speak for all those who are were unable to fin To read the thoughts, reflections and memories of those who have lived through suffering and horrors that I cannot begin to comprehend, is confronting and deeply moving This diverse selection of writings gives voice to representatives from every part of British society those who were part of the armed forces, those they left behind, nurses, relief workers, prisoners of war, pacifists as well as from other countries affected by the Great War They speak for all those who are were unable to find words to express what they experienced My heart is so stunned I don t know whether it is broken or not Private Frank Cocker, 1915


  7. Michael Coney Michael Coney says:

    PoignantStraying from his usual fiction, Sebastian Faulks has worked with Hope Wolf to produce an anthology that beautifully portrays the different aspects of the Great War from a variety of those involved.So different from most books about t


  8. thealchemyofpages thealchemyofpages says:

    A stunning and emotional read.


  9. Steve Maxwell Steve Maxwell says:

    A very sober, touching and moving look at some of the reminiscent times of World War I.


  10. Andy Plonka Andy Plonka says:

    I found the afterward the most enlightening of the whole book, although there are many short letters which said a lot in a few words to convey thescope of World War I.