The Penguin Book of First World War Stories (Penguin Classics)
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An anthology of Great War short stories by British writers, both famous and lesser-known authors, men and women, during the war and after its end
These stories are able to illustrate the impact of the Great War on British society and culture and the many modes in which short fiction contributed to the war's literature. The selection covers different periods: the war years themselves, the famous boom years of the late 1920s to the more recent past in which the First World War has received new cultural interest.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
presently lose itself in the marshes, came a rhythmical thudding, as a herd of red deer with wide nostrils and starting eyes thundered past, disturbed in their drinking by the bears. After this the evening returned to its silence, and the spell of its silence descended on the lovers, so that each felt very much alone, yet withal more closely united to the other. But the man became restless under that spell, and he suddenly laughed; then grasping the woman he tossed her above his head and caught
rather too much of it – on what would happen when she grew up and – well, he managed not to think of such things. The idea took shape slowly. After all, he didn’t want to frighten her. Besides, he knew how the others scorned such diversions. Accept the facts, they said or seemed to imply (they seldom spoke), the world of the living is lost to you for ever, you have no place there, let it go. Most of the others had made the transition successfully. The earthly world had faded for them, dimmed,
yet. He would still be wondering, waiting, hoping, down there in that deep, dark silence of his, in his own dark personal world. He didn’t know he was blind; no one would have told him. I felt his pulse. It was strong and steady. He was a long, thin man, but his body was not very cold and the pale lower half of his clear-cut face was not very pale. There was something beautiful about him. In his case there was no hurry, no necessity to rush him through to the operating room. There was plenty of
was written on their tickets and from the way they looked and the way they felt to my hand. My hand could tell of itself one kind of cold from another. They were all half frozen when they arrived, but the chill of their icy flesh wasn’t the same as the cold inside them when life was almost ebbed away. My hands could instantly tell the difference between the cold of the harsh bitter night and the stealthy cold of death. Then there was another thing, a small fluttering thing. I didn’t think about
dark,”’5 sang Laura Sharp, the tune having got into her mind. ‘Who’re you going with to-night, John Thomas?’ asked Muriel Baggaley, coolly. ‘To-night?’ said John Thomas. ‘Oh, I’m going home by myself to-night – all on my lonely-O.’ ‘That’s me!’ said Nora Purdy, using his own ejaculation. The girls laughed shrilly. ‘Me as well, Nora,’ said John Thomas. ‘Don’t know what you mean,’ said Laura. ‘Yes, I’m toddling,’ said he, rising and reaching for his overcoat. ‘Nay,’ said Polly. ‘We’re all