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This blog makes liberal use of AB's journals, letters, travel notes, and other sources.

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Sunday, 9 March 2014


Wednesday, March 9th., Cadogan Square, London.

This morning before noon I finished reading what I had done of "Accident" and I decidedly liked it. It seemed to me to be sound and interesting; of course old-fashioned - at least I suppose so.

Then I walked up to the Reform, and got there early. I lunched with Page, Gardiner, Roch and two others. Discussion of Churchill's book. Everyone praised it as a tour de force, but said it was by no means always honest, and certainly wasn't history, inasmuch as it was obviously written to prove that Churchill had been right throughout the war. Personally, I think it is a bit better than that. I regard it as a remarkable achievement. 

As First Lord of the Admiralty and Minister for War and Air, Churchill stood resolute at the centre of international affairs. In this classic account, he dramatically details how the tides of despair and triumph flowed and ebbed as the political and military leaders of the time navigated the dangerous currents of world conflict. Churchill vividly recounts the major campaigns that shaped the war: the furious attacks of the Marne, the naval manoeuvres off Jutland, Verdun's "soul-stirring frenzy," and the surprising victory of Chemins des Dames. Here, too, he re-creates the dawn of modern warfare: the buzz of airplanes overhead, trench combat, artillery thunder, and the threat of chemical warfare. In Churchill's inimitable voice we hear how "the war to end all wars" instead gave birth to every war that would follow. Written with unprecedented flair and knowledge of the events, The World Crisis remains the single greatest history of World War I, essential reading for anyone who wishes to understand the twentieth century.

I came home by bus and slept. I felt gloomy. I hadn't really begun to get my ideas in order for proceeding with my novel. Then I read the newest fiction. Priestley's "Adam in Moonshine" and Romer Wilson's "latter Day Symphony", and I at once wrote paragraphs about them to go into a future Standard article. Poor and pretentious stuff, I thought. Nothing original in them. But Elizabeth Madox Roberts's "The Time of Man" (American - sent to me by Doran) seems to me to be pretty good authentic fiction. A very different affair from the other two.

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