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Julian Grenfell

3.61  ·  Rating Details  ·  23 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
A biography of the First World War poet Julian Grenfell. It helps readers to understand why Julian and his generation seemed to want to die in battle. It also brings Edwardian society to life, as well as describes his relationship with his mother.
Paperback, 411 pages
Published 1999 by Persephone Books (first published 1976)
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Jan 19, 2016 Simon rated it liked it
A great biography of a man who fought in WWI, thought interestingly as interested in (if not more) his mother who features heavily. Reminded me why I love non fiction but also how blooming long it takes me to read. Two weeks!! Though to be fair have had the house redecorated and a building site during that time. Ha.
Jan 15, 2016 Jeslyn rated it really liked it
While the individual strands of Mosley's biography were rather tedious in the early - and middle - going, he ramped up very well in second half, and the beginning tangents were definitely justified. It' no small undertaking to build a biography of a young person to begin with (Grenfell lived only to age 27, and was not a prolific writer), but the author's aim is more difficult because his primary source material consists of letters between Grenfell's mother Ettie and her friends ("The Souls", a ...more
Sep 13, 2012 Rosemary rated it really liked it
Shelves: persephone
This was not what I expected but I really enjoyed it. Julian Grenfell, born in 1888, was an aristocratic army officer and poet killed in the First World War. Unlike many war poets his best known poem 'Into Battle' celebrates war rather than dealing with the horrors. He was killed in the spring of 1915 so perhaps he didn't have time to become disillusioned - but he was a man who enjoyed hunting and shooting more than almost anything else, so perhaps it was just his nature.

Nicholas Mosley was marr
Oct 07, 2014 Stephen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
Moving non-fiction account of a social circle we know from with fiction like Downton Abbey (for nostalgia about a place we never knew) and Evelyn Waugh (for satire) and P.G. Wodehouse (for silliness) and John Buchan (some of whose fictional characters come from it). As the blurb and other reviewers have noted, it examines the death wish that goes with relishing war, a surfeit of God and Country.
Julian Grenfell was a young Englishman who died in World War I, having written one of the war's most famous poems, "Into Battle". In this biography, Nicholas Mosley is interested in examining what led Julian, his peers, and his family to believe that to kill and die in war was a desirable, even a splendid, thing.

I see why Persephone reprinted the book. Their focus on women's literature may make this seem an odd choice, a biography of a man by another man, but Mosley spends just as much time on J
One of the best accounts I've ever read of Britain in the twenty years before World War I, particularly focusing upon the mentality of those from the privileged classes who marched gaily and enthusiastically off to war in 1914.
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Nicholas Mosley was born in London on June 25, 1923 and was educated at Eton and Oxford. He served in Italy during World War II, and published his first novel, Spaces of the Dark, in 1951. His book Hopeful Monsters won the 1990 Whitbread Award.

Mosley is also the author of several works of nonfiction, most notably the autobiography Efforts at Truth and a biography of his father, Sir Oswald Mosley,
More about Nicholas Mosley...

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