Category Archives: Poetry

Rupert Brooke in Space

On Newsnight tonight, Benedict Cumberbatch read out an astonishing memo. It was written to Richard Nixon in 1969, at the time of the Apollo mission to the moon. William Safire had been asked to draft a speech for the President to make to the nation in preparation for the worst eventuality: that the astronauts, having […]

Register of effects – Julian Grenfell, Edward Thomas, Saki

Yesterday I mentioned the Register of Soldiers’ Effects, which lists monies paid to the family of those killed in action, and showed Isaac Rosenberg’s record as an example. Officers’ records are listed by initial rather than by full Christian names. Here, from early in the War, is Julian Grenfell’s record. Click on it for a […]

Isaac Rosenberg’s death payment

Online now at Ancestry.co.uk is a new resource, the Soldiers’ Effects Registers, which show the money paid by the British Government to the next of kin of men killed in action in WWI and the Boer War. As an example, here is the record of Isaac Rosenberg. It shows the final balance of his pay, […]

T. S. Eliot and Haig’s funeral

On 7 February, 1928, T. S. Eliot wrote a letter to his mother, describing Douglas Haig’s funeral procession, on its way to Westminster Abbey: The funeral started at the Scotch church, which was flying the Scotch flag at half-mast [….] Well then there were the Scotch pipers of the Guards, and they started the ‘Lament […]

Kipling, ‘Lyde’, Lloyd and Lauder

The Kipling Journal arrived yesterday. The journal is now eedited by Janet Montefiore, who seems to be full of good ideas, especially about special issues devoted to a particular Kipling topic. This issue concentrates on Kipling’s poetry, and includes a range of his poems, each with a commentary by an expert or enthusiast. All are […]

Jon Stallworthy (1935-2014)

I was very sad to learn today of the death of Jon Stallworthy, who did so much for First World War literary studies. He was the external examiner for my doctorate, and I treasure the memory of the afternoon I spent being gently but meticulously questioned about my thesis by someone who knew so much […]

F. W. Harvey’s lost novel: ‘A War Romance’

F.W. Harvey’s poetry achieved considerable fame during the Great War, but he has never become a sizeable presence in more recent anthologies. (Which is why I posted one of his poems here yesterday; I was willing to bet that not very many people knew it.) He has his enthusiastic supporters, though, in Glocestershire and elsewhere, […]

F. W. Harvey’s ‘Ballad of Army Pay’

I shall soon be posting a review of F.W.Harvey’s recently rediscovered novel, A War Romance. In the meantime, though, I can’t resist posting this poem of Harvey’s, since he’s a poet who doesn’t get reprinted enough. (He isn’t even in my favourite anthology The Winter of the World, though he should be). Harvey’s biographer says, […]

A Sassoon afternoon

I spent a pleasant afternoon yesterday at the Annual general meeting of the Siegfried Sassoon Fellowship. We met in the Lamb pub in Lamb’s Conduit Street, Bloomsbury. This used to be Charles Dickens’s local, apparently, and it’s where Ted Hughes took Sylvia Plath on their first date. And they serve very good fish and chips. […]

Siegfried Sassoon Fellowship AGM

This year’s AGM will be on Saturday October 18th, at The Lamb, Lamb’s Conduit Street, London. I shall be giving a talk with the title: ‘ “Too terribly beastly and nasty and corpsey”: How novelists of the nineteen-twenties represented war poets.’ This will be a longer version of the paper I gave at the Oxford […]

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 371 other followers