I have a voracious interest in the First World War, and am currently working on my first novel, set both during the “war to end all wars” and also in the inter-war period. I started this blog as a place to share the research for my book; and the things I discover along the way that I find most interesting, moving or overlooked.

The Great War was incomparable in its gruesome achievement of wholesale slaughter; a war that spanned both increasingly outmoded Victorian, as well as newly-industrialised, means of killing and maiming on an unprecedented scale. At school I was both uncomprehendingly appalled and stupidly fascinated by the ghoulish descriptions from the trenches and battlefields. As a young adult, I became increasingly intrigued by the way in which our first “World War” irrevocably changed the face of the world forever; Britain’s increasingly unsustainable aristocracy, and women’s strengthening place in society, being just two examples. The period immediately before August 1914 is for me an infinitely and uniquely powerful point in history; a blind world on the edge of a precipice, poised on the brink of all-pervasive change. The structure of society, as well as most of that society itself, about to be obliterated. For me, the music of this period (Satie, Debussy) in particular seems to capture this soon-to-be vanished world like scent in a bottle.

My interest in the First World War is wide, but this blog and my enthusiasm for the period largely focuses primarily on the social and cultural history of these cataclysmic years.

I hope that you will enjoy reading this part of my blog just as much as I am enjoying writing and compiling it. These are all stories very much worth telling.

And lastly: the title of this section of my blog comes from the final line of the brief, but starkly powerful, A.E. Housman poem ‘Here Dead We Lie’.

This blog post first appeared on lorajones.com

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