To a large extent, the popular British memory of the First World War is shaped by it s literature the poems of Wilfred Owen, plays, notably Journey s End by R C Sherriff, and memoirs cum novels by the likes of Edmund Blunden, Robert Graves, and Richard Aldington While these are all valuable documents, written as they were by men who served, there is a danger that they present an unrepresentative picture of life in the British army on the Western Front Blunden, Graves, and Aldington, as well To a large extent, the popular British memory of the First World War is shaped by it s literature the poems of Wilfred Owen, plays, notably Journey s End by R C Sherriff, and memoirs cum novels by the likes of Edmund Blunden, Robert Graves, and Richard Aldington While these are all valuable documents, written as they were by men who served, there is a danger that they present an unrepresentative picture of life in the British army on the Western Front Blunden, Graves, and Aldington, as well as Siegfried Sassoon, were all privately educated university men at a time when very few Brits could say that As a result, the picture of Britain s war that emerges from the literature is disproportionately posh In it s unbowlderised form, The Middle Parts of Fortune goes some way towards re balancing that The hero is a slightly irritating semi toff who is presented as a bit of an ideal, but lots of space is given to the rank and file, characters like Shem, Martlow an From the back cover of this editionThe finest and noblest book of men in war that I have ever read I read it over once each year to remember how things really were so that I will never lie to myself nor to anyone else about themErnest HemingwayI have a thing to read about World War One This was different than All Quiet on the Western Front and I think not as good It was less emotional, for one thing Remarque writesabout the fighting itself and how it scars the individual psyc From the back cover of this editionThe finest and I struggled through this book At the halfway mark, I was about to dump it Yet on completion, I had to admit two things It does accurately depict war, at least the First World War, and those aspects of the book which I had disliked do make sense when you understand how the book ends view spoiler Bourne, the central protagonist, is at the book s end to be promoted to officer I never felt him to be one of the low rank soldiers this had bothered me throughout the entire book As an officer, I struggled through this book At the halfway mark, I was about to dump it Yet on completion, I had to admit two things It does accurately depict war, at least the First World War, and those aspects of the book which I had disliked do make sense when you understand how the book ends view spoiler Bourne, the central protagonist, is at the book s end to be promoted to officer I never felt him to be one of the low rank soldiers this had bothered me throughout the entire book As an officer, he felt right hide spoiler Nevertheless, my time spent with the book was not enjoyable I thought I would come to feel the comradeship soldiers feel for one another This I never felt The central character, private Bourne, is fictitious but the events are in fact based on the author s own experiences fighting at the Somme in 1916 Bourne s thoughts reflect the author s thoughts and the critical views of many after the war s end The book h Frederic Manning is an oddly elusive figure Born in Australia in 1882, he migrated to England as a teenager A friend, at various times, of Ezra Pound, Richard Aldington, T.S Eliot, W.B Yeats and T E Lawrence, he was regarded by many contemporaries as a fine writer, and his literary ambition was considerable But he was affected throughout his life by a weak chest Also, he drank In the end he was really only ever known for one book, and little else that he wrote is much read today That o Frederic Manning is an oddly elusive figure Born in Australia in 1882, he migrated to England as a teenager A friend, at various times, of Ezra Pound, Richard Aldington, T.S Eliot, W.B Yeats and T E Lawrence, he was regarded by many contemporaries as a fine writer, and his literary ambition was considerable But he was affected throughout his life by a weak chest Also, he drank In the end he was really only ever known for one book, and little else that I was in two minds about how to classify the authorship of this book Wikipedia tells me that Frederic Manning 1882 1935 was an Australian poet and novelist, but in the introduction to Frederic Manning s The Middle Parts of Fortune Simon Caterson tells us that Nettie Palmer rued that Australia could not really claim him This was presumably because although he was born and educated in Sydney, Manning settled permanently in the UK in 1903 when he was 21, enlisted with British forces in WW1 and I was in two minds about how to classify the authorship of this book Wikipedia tells me that Frederic Manning 1882 1935 was an Australian poet and novelist, but in the introduction to Frederic Manning s The Middle Parts of Fortune Simon Caterson tells us that Nettie Palmer rued that Australia could not really claim him This was presumably because although he was born and educated in Sydney, Manning settled permanently in the UK in 1903 when he was 21, enlisted with British forces in WW1 and died in England in 1935 However, it does seem to me that he has an Australian sensibility I suspect that no Englishman of his class in his era cou IntroductionAuthor s Prefatory Note 1929The Middle Parts of Fortune Somme and Ancre, 1916 I really enjoyed this novel set in the trenches in World War I It provides a muchbalanced view of the officer class in the British army than I have ususally read they are often portrayed as witless elites who dined on fine food and wine while sending their troops off to certain death The officers have some of that, and our hero, an intelligent enlisted man, certainly has moments of anger at his superiors, but often he recognizes the pressures on them and the care they take in leading th I really enjoyed this novel set in Hemingway stated that this book was, The finest and noblest book of men in war although I have never been too enthusiastic about Hemingway, this really is a great piece of text There is a lot of waiting around and little action. 4.5 starsManning was born in Australia to an Irish Catholic family He moved to England in 1898 at the age of sixteen with the Rev Arthur Galton secretary to the Governor of New South Wales , with whom he had formed a close friendship They had similar literary interests and tastes and Manning lived with Galton until his death in 1921 Galton became vicar of Edenham in Lincolnshire in 1898 Manning was essentially a man of let First Published In , Her Privates We Is The Great Book Of World War I Written From The Ordinary Soldier S Point Of View Called The Book Of Books By Lawrence Of Arabia, Her Privates We Is An Expressionist Classic That Magnificently Captures The Horror Of War