The Somme, Including Also The Coward

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Univ of South Carolina Press, 2006 - Fiction - 189 pages
First published in London in 1927, The Somme and its companion, The Coward, constitute the only published literary achievements of A. D. Gristwood, a reluctant accountant turned even more reluctant infantryman in the London Rifle Brigade who later fell under the tutelage of master storyteller H. G. Wells. Heavily autobiographical and much influenced by Wells's guidance, Gristwood's tales of World War I combat are rife with acts of unheroic self-preservation and colored with the fear, bitterness, and hopelessness that defined the author's wartime experience. The central characters of these accounts are clever outsiders-disillusioned and grim foot soldiers amid foolishly dutiful comrades-who are placed in dire circumstances where survival mandates acts of horrific selfishness in lieu of valor.

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The Somme, Including Also The Coward (The Joseph M. Bruccoli Great War Series)

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Three volumes from South Carolina's "Bruccoli Great War" series, which reprints lesser-known and long-gone works of both fiction and memoir relating to World War I. Grabenhorst's autobiographicalZero ... Read full review

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About the author (2006)

H.G. Wells was born in Bromley, England, the son of an unsuccessful merchant. After a limited education, he was apprenticed to a dry-goods merchant, but soon found he wanted something more out of life. He read widely and got a position as a student assistant in a secondary school, eventually winning a scholarship to the College of Science in South Kensington, where he studied biology under the British biologist and educator, Thomas Henry Huxley. After graduating, Wells took several different teaching positions and began writing for magazines. When his stories began to sell, he left teaching to write full time. Wells's first major novel, The Time Machine (1895), launched his career as a writer, and he began to produce a steady stream of science-fiction tales, short stories, realistic novels, and books of sociology, history, science, and biography, producing one or more books a year. Much of Wells's work is forward-looking, peering into the future of prophesy social and scientific developments, sometimes with amazing accuracy. Along with French writer Jules Verne, Wells is credited with popularizing science fiction, and such novels as The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds (1898) are still widely read. Many of Wells's stories are based on his own experiences. The History of Mr. Polly (1910) draws on the life of Wells's father. Kipps (1905) uses Wells's experience as an apprentice, and Love and Mr. Lewisham (1900) draws on Wells's experiences as a school teacher. Wells also wrote stories showing how the world could be a better place. One such story is A Modern Utopia (1905). As a writer, Wells's range was exceptionally wide and his imagination extremely fertile. While time may have caught up with him (many of the things he predicted have already come to pass), he remains an interesting writer because of his ability to tell a lively tale.

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