"There was no patriotism in the trenches. It was too remote a sentiment, and rejected as fit only for civilians. A new arrival who talked patriotism would soon be told to cut it out. As Blighty, Great Britain was a quiet, easy place to get back to out of the present foreign misery, but as a nation it was nothing." This is the original version of Robert Graves' intense memoir of the First World War, restoring this raw, emotionally truthful, darkly comic work to the way it was first written, by a young man still reeling from the trenches. "We see the dark heart of the book even more clearly, and hear it beating even more loudly, in this original edition than we do in the comparatively careful and considered terms of the later one' Andrew Motion 'One of the most candid self-portraits, warts and all, ever painted". (TLS). Robert Graves was born in 1895 in Wimbledon. He went from school to the First World War, where he became a captain in the Royal Welch Fusiliers and was seriously wounded at the Battle of the Somme. He wrote his autobiography, Goodbye to All That, in 1929, and it was soon established as a modern classic. He died on 7 December 1985 in Majorca, his home since 1929.
Andrew Motion's most recent collection of poetry is The Cinder Path. He was poet laureate from 1999 to 2009 and is now Professor of Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, University of London. Fran Brearton is Professor of Modern Poetry at Queen's University Belfast and author of The Great War in Irish Poetry.
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd