I Shall Not Be Away Long: The First World War Letters of Lt Col Charles Bartlett - Charles Bartlett; Andrew Tatham; Andrew Tatham; Andrew Tatham; Andrew Tatham; William Boyd; | Foyles Bookstore
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I Shall Not Be Away Long: The First World War Letters of Lt Col Charles Bartlett
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I Shall Not Be Away Long: The First World War Letters of Lt Col Charles Bartlett (Paperback)

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'Moving, powerful, important' - MICHAEL MORPURGO ---- 'A classic of its kind' - WILLIAM BOYD ----

A larger-than-life infantry officer's letters written from the Western Front to his West End actress wife from 1915 to 1917, visually presented with images of all the letters as well as pictures and detailed notes about the people and objects and events he encounters, showing how personal and family and war history connects through to today. Not only are the letters almost completely uncensored and full of incident described with directness and bluff humour, but the people mentioned along the way give a full spectrum of supporting characters, from Charles Bartlett's actress wife and their friends on the West End stage, to soldiers noted for their heroism or eccentricity or insubordination or complicated love lives (or combinations of all of these), to men avoiding conscription, to spies, royalty and a newspaper magnate. The letters give a portrait of a man, a marriage, and a time of traumatic uncertainty. Charles Bartlett is not an exemplary hero, but his flaws make him all the more human as he struggles through leading his Battalion at the Battles of Loos and the Somme and the frights and labours of life on the Western Front. A companion volume to Andrew Tatham's first book 'A Group Photograph - Before, Now & In-Between', it shares many of the same characters and explores the same ideas of what it is like to be a human being in any time, how our beliefs and hopes compare to reality, and what remains of us after we are gone. ---- A full-colour high-quality book with 527 vintage & contemporary pictures, images of 341 letters, and 26 maps. --- As featured on the Today programme on BBC Radio 4 and in the Telegraph Magazine.

BiographyDiaries, letters & journalsBiographyTrue storiesTrue stories of heroism, endurance & survivalHistory & PoliticsHistory: specific events & topicsSocial & cultural historyHistory & PoliticsMilitary HistoryFirst World War Publisher: Arvo Veritas Publication Date: 06/11/2020 ISBN-13: 9780993530227  Details: Type: Paperback Format: Books
Availability: Not currently available to order online.  

LT COL CHARLES BARTLETT (1878-1940) was a larger-than-life and slightly roguish infantry officer who served on the Western Front from August 1915 to March 1917. The seventh child of a Buckinghamshire banker, he was a regular army officer from 1900 to 1906, serving in Gibraltar, Woking, Dublin, Egypt and Khartoum, before becoming a private secretary in the Theatre and marrying a West End actress & singer with the stage name of Peggy Bethel. Involved in the raising of the 8th Battalion Royal Berkshire Regiment in 1914, he went on to lead them at the Battles of Loos and the Somme before ill-health led to a return to England and a desk job at the Ministry of National Service. After the war he became an organiser for the National Institution for the Blind. His 341 letters from the trenches were never intended for publication but were passed down through the generations of his family. ---- ANDREW TATHAM is an artist and historian. His military experience was confined to the Territorial Army, finishing as the second-in-command of an infantry company of 3/51 Highland Volunteers (Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders). The closest he came to the experience of war was during a live-firing exercise supported by Chieftain tanks, one of which nearly reversed over him. In 1994 a First World War group photograph inspired him to find the families of all 46 men pictured, and the result was a major exhibition at the In Flanders Fields Museum in Ypres in 2015. Entitled 'A Group Photograph - Before, Now & In-Between', this was a mix of the traditional with innovative new ways of showing history and human life, ranging from intimate mementos to large scale installations. An appearance on the Jeremy Vine Show to talk about the book of the exhibition led to the busiest Christmas of his life. Still to come is the book based on his experience of this whole project: 'One Shutter Click - How A Single Photograph Took Over My Life'. ---- WILLIAM BOYD is a prize-winning writer renowned for his novels and screenplays. Not only is he an acute observer of human beings with all their foibles but his attention to detail in his historical research is matchless. All fifteen of his novels are still in print and include two that strongly feature the First World War: 'An Ice Cream War' and 'The New Confessions'. Another, 'Any Human Heart', has provided particular inspiration in the creation of this book - its central character grows up in the shadow of the First World War and attempts to navigate the 20th Century with the imperfect compass of a public school education coupled with a strong libido. William Boyd also wrote and directed 'The Trench', a film with stars including Daniel Craig and Danny Dyer and early roles for Ben Whishaw and Cillian Murphy. Set in the two days leading up to the attack on the Somme, it gives a portrait of humans battling with their own minds and each other as well as with the enemy. It doesn't just show the war's history but also how humans deal with beliefs and the unknown.

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