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DONOVAN (Tom) In Memoriam: A Bibliography of Personal Memorial Volumes of the Great War, 1914-1918. 1st Ed., x+390pp., 62 col. illus. on 16 plates. VG in dw. Tom Donovan Editions. 2015  #62063
[HLMainPic] Contains detailed descriptions of 370 WW1 memorial volumes recorded by me over some 30 years, including trawling the collections of the IWM, British Library, &c. The personal memorial volumes of the Great War, 1914-1918, were a phenomenon particular to the period & more especially to the sons of upper middle class temporary officers who fell in very large numbers. Memorial volumes were of course produced for a number of Regular Army (& Navy) officers too, as well as for a few "other ranks" & to several Americans serving with the British Forces. When making my selection I have also been mindful of the need to establish a working definition of what we mean by a Great War personal memorial volume. My assumption has been that the volume must be 'personal,' i.e. about an individual or, in some cases, about multiple related individuals such as brothers. The subject of the volume must have been on active service during the Great War & must have died as a result of that service, having been killed in action, died of wounds or died as a result of sickness or accident. In other words the volume must have been compiled & published posthumously. The contents must include at least one of the following: memoirs, letters, or diaries; the memoirs may be written by the subject or by a third party about the subject; the letters may be written by or to the subject or may be letters of condolence written to the family after the subject's death. In addition the volume may include biographical details & poetry written by the subject but I have specifically excluded formal biographies & volumes of verse. These criteria encompass a broad range of publications from small privately printed volumes to mass-produced books that ran into many editions, & from pamphlets to luxurious leather-bound volumes. Similarly the range and variety of content included is substantial. These volumes constitute a rich vein for modern historians to mine. They constitute a canon of writing – much of it surprisingly fine considering the youth of the writers – which provides us with an insight into a wide range of personal experiences & emotions that collectively represents the active service experience of this generation. The letters and diaries reproduced in these volumes, together with the memorials of their lives written by those who knew them, & the letters of condolence written by comrades & friends, tell us much about these young men, their society & background &, implicitly, the impact of the war on British society. These accounts complement the various formal official & regimental histories & the large number of memoirs produced after the war. A few are simply bald biographical records; most are informative & many are amusing & entertaining. Some are quite exceptional in the range of emotion & experience eloquently described. Many are, inevitably, highly moving. To assist researchers I have included extensive indexes of regiments, cemeteries & memorials, schools & colleges, battles & other events of the Great War. Published in an edition of 100 copies & now out of print, but I have a handful of copies left. See illustrations on our website.   £95

     




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