Monday 19 April 2010

Memoir of the Bobotes by Joyce Cary

I recently acquired a paperback copy of the above title and can do no better than to quote the description from the back page.

'A stirring account of the war in the Balkans.

Joyce Cary, one of the 20th Century's greatest novelists (the author of The Horse's Mouth) was 23 years old at the start of the Balkan War of 1912-1913.

A one time art student in Edinburgh and Paris and newly down from Trinity College, Oxford he went through the war as a stretcher bearer in the Red Cross.

Shortly after his return he wrote Memoir of the Bobotes without thought of publication. It is an extraordinarily vivid account of a forgotten war fought by peasants under primitive conditions - yet particularly fascinating today to readers with memories of later Balkan wars.

It is both a moving and illuminating account of the war but it also offers a self-portrait of a young, upper-class Englishman - idealistic, sensitive, romantic - living in the belief that 'there would be no more wars'.

This is published by Phoenix Press (ISBN: 1-84212-102-2) in paperback and once I have read it I shall report further as to the content. Needless to say I am very much looking forward to reading this.

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