Click here for a pdf file of a lengthy essay on the war novelist Richard Blaker.
Blaker served in the Royal Artillery, until he was invalided home with shell-shock. He was among the officers who convalesced at Arnold Bennett’s house in Essex; Bennet encouraged him to write.
His first post-war writings show a disgust with the war and a desire to dissociate himself from it. Yet in 1930 he published Medal Without Bar, a long novel that, while not ducking war’s unpleasantness and horror, still finds much positive to say about it.
This essay (actually a chapter written for my Ph.D. thesis, but finally not used) traces Blaker’s progress through the twenties, as his attitudes to life and to war change.