A Student in Arms. Second Series. [1917]
Paperback: 262
Publisher: Trieste Publishing
Language: English
ISBN: 9780649065479
Product Dimensions: 6.14 x 9.21 inches

A Student in Arms. Second Series. [1917]

Donald Hankey

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Book description

Donald Hankey was an English soldier during Great War. He is best known for two volumes of essays about the British volunteer army in World War I titled “A Student in Arms”. In fact, Hankey's increasingly popular essays were in-depth reflections on how Britain's civilian army faces the unprecedented challenge of war. In general, they fell somewhere between the jingoistic enthusiasm with which the Great War was usually met at the very beginning, and the dark disappointment, so strikingly obvious in the work of those writers who survived it. Hankey spoke modestly and thoughtfully about the usual trials of soldiers, which his home readers found sobering but reassuring. At one time, his essays were collected in two volumes, published in the spring of 1916 by Andrew Melrose and (posthumously) in 1917. These pieces, which make up Student with Weapon, were received with what might be called gratitude. Today, “Student in Arms” provides valuable insight into how the 1914-1918 war was presented to many who, civilians and military alike, actually survived it, whether it was confronted with fighting or anxious anticipation at home. This book is the second volume. Unsurprisingly, the later essays written by “The Student in Arms” during his second close-up view of war are significantly darker. Some, in fact, were rejected by the Viewer because of the "change of tone". Hankey's battle-tested sympathy for the younger officers and soldiers grows ever more acute. His confidence that their sacrifice will be worthy of respect becomes less certain. His brief direct involvement in the cataclysm of the first day of the Battle of the Somme and its heinous aftermath are marked in some of Hankey's last letters with clear signs of shock. After a brief respite at the army school in the rear, Hankey was back in the trenches near Le Translay. On October 6, with calm obedience, he wrote to his sister Hilda that heavy battles lay ahead.

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Review by Carole Blake

Posted on 25.02.2018

This is either a very cruel book or a very fair one, and I'm not sure which one.

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Posted on 08.02.2018

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