Kathleen, a widow and single mother, became a professional sculptor and befriended her well-known sitters: Asquith would come to tea regularly during the first years of the First World War; George Bernard Shaw said his relationship with her — she was a powerful character — was the closest he ever came to homosexuality. Sculptures made of words and pages.
Farewell letter from Captain Scott pledged Antarctic team would 'die like gentlemen'. Introducing the Scott Letters Project. Scotland's answer to Hay-on-Wye. Later, Kathleen married my grandfather, who became a cabinet minister, and had another son. Writing her biography was a joy — letters from Max Beerbohm, sightings of the young James Mason, a photo of her riding on the cowcatcher of a train across Texas.
Fun poured from her, and at the heart of it so much loss. It was easy, hurtling through that incredible life, to hurtle past gateways into other worlds. This hideous, yet miraculous, art was racing ahead in that period, with antisepsis, anaesthesia, a constant supply of otherwise healthy men with shattered faces from the trenches, and the genius of men like Gillies.
The courage of the doctors and the damaged young men was quite extraordinary, and yet, in a war on that scale, quite everyday. How can human beings cope with that?
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How do we deal with what is unbearable? Fifteen years later, one of those photos greeted me again, on the wall of an exhibition at the Wellcome Foundation in London.
Wigtown Festival: Louisa Young on My Dear, I Wanted to Tell You
Near it was displayed an unused field postcard, for a wounded young man to fill in at the casualty Clearing Station. It held an untold story. I imagined having to fill in this card, and the circumstances under which it would come about. Get the best at Telegraph Puzzles. A collection of the best contributions and reports from the Telegraph focussing on the key events, decisions and moments in Churchill's life.
Even intelligent, articulate men like Riley simply lacked the language to explain the things they had seen and done. Those seven words will come into their own, I promise. As Richard says, this is a novel that buries itself deep in your consciousness: This is a book that stayed with me long after I had read the last page. Louisa Young writes with an extraordinary blend of delicacy and brutality about the Great War: At the heart of the story is Riley Purefoy.
The wealthy, cultured family semi-adopt him and he falls in love with beautiful, wilful Nadine, daughter of his mentor, Sir Arthur Waveney. Almost at once, he volunteers to fight on the Western Front. Young hauntingly describes the violent and almost schizophrenic world into which young men like Riley were suddenly tossed. After months in northern France, helplessly caught up in the human mincing machine of the trenches, they might find themselves on leave back in London, just a short train and boat journey from hell.
If the wind was in the right direction, the rumble of the guns could be heard at the front, while in the park, children fed pigeons. I read this book and it was an interesting story but it did go on a bit I'd give it 5 out of 10 I was glad when it finished to be honest.
I did enjoy this book. Apart from giving a vivid description of life in the trenches and the difficulties soldiers had with adjusting to "normal" life back home it also looked at the problems the people back home were dealing with. For example the upper class older people could not adjust to the changing order of things, whereas the younger women were taking advantage of their new freedom.
The author captures this very well. This book for me was a slow burn.
My Dear I Wanted to Tell You - Books - Richard and Judy
The middle section was pacier, more descriptive, evocative and I began to become hooked. The final third of the book I read in just a couple of hours, as the story reached its climax and I was desperate to find out what happened. The characters were believable, and well researched and written. The book club info at the back was enlightening, and I can honestly say that I would recommend this book to friends and family, with the proviso that they stick at it through the beginning. I have not read a book except educational material in years.
I enjoyed this book and looked forward to picking up the story every evening. I love your book club,wondered for many years if you were Peter Madeleys cousin, found out afew years ago when you visited Shrewsbury that you are. I realise that this is a big ask, but I have a book for children coming out in the near future, would you read it for me, seewhat you think. I really enjoyed this book. All the characters and the storyline were believable and well described.
I was impressed by the insight from a male point of view by a female author - it was very well done. I particulalry like the fact that, given the storyline, it did not disolve into sentimentality.
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This is not my usual choice for reading but it has made me realise that I need to step outside my comfort zone more often. I will be looking for more work by this author. I have the same feeling that I had after reading Birdsong and nothing has affected me in the same way since. My Dear I Wanted to Tell You touches you emotionally and leaves you feeling humbled and so proud of a generation of brave men and woman who gave their all.
We don't know how lucky we are, and we should never forget. This book should be on the school curriculum. What a wonderful author Louisa Young is.
Book review: Louisa Young’s ‘My Dear I Wanted to Tell You’
I believe her inspiration starting from her grandmother is the reason it feels so real and true because quite simply it is. I started reading this about 6 weeks ago and found it very slow to begin. I left it and read another book but returned yeaterday and have suddenly flown through it. It is so sad and heartfelt and extremely well written..
I enjoyed the second half of this book very much, i do agree with some of the other reviews when they say the book went on a bit at the beginning. I was waiting for the story to build and in the end it did.