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France at War

Rudyard Kipling

Book Overview: 

John Kipling was reported missing, believed killed, in his first battle on the Western Front. From this time Kipling was constantly in pain from a gastric ulcer. He published some (censored) articles of war journalism in 1915, collected as The New Army in Training and France at War.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .l's work when he bellows so truculently among the hills to the north.

We were looking for a town that lives under shell-fire. The regular road to it was reported unhealthy—not that the women and children seemed to care. We took byways of which certain exposed heights and corners were lightly blinded by wind-brakes of dried tree-tops. Here the shell holes were rather thick on the ground. But the women and the children and the old men went on with their work with the cattle and the crops; and where a house had been broken by shells the rubbish was collected in a neat pile, and where a room or two still remained usable, it was inhabited, and the tattered window-curtains fluttered as proudly as any flag. And time was when I used to denounce young France because it tried to kill itself beneath my car wheels; and the fat old women who crossed roads without warning; and the specially deaf old men who slept in carts on the wrong side of the road. . . Read More

Community Reviews

A short little book that I'd never heard of before by Kipling that I found in a used book store. It's written in very beautiful poetic prose as a tribute to the French people as they bravely endured the ravages of WWI. Kipling traveled through the areas of France at war where the people went about t

An interesting observation of the Western Front, from the rear to the front, and French Nationalism in the face of German invasion.