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Her Privates We ebook

by Frederic Manning


Frederic Manning was born on 22nd July 1882 in Sydney, Australia, one of eight children to local politician Sir William Patrick Manning. In 1907 he published his first book, ‘The Vigil of Brunhild’, a monologue written in verse.

Frederic Manning was born on 22nd July 1882 in Sydney, Australia, one of eight children to local politician Sir William Patrick Manning. The family were Roman Catholics of Irish origin. Manning was a poorly child and thus schooled extensively at home. Scenes and Portraits’ followed in 1909, a discussion of religious topics written as a series of debates by historical figures. With the publication of ‘Poems’ in 1910 his reputation as an up-and-coming writer was gathering an audience.

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, . Yeats and T. E. Lawrence, he was regarded by many contemporaries as a fine writer, and his literary ambition was considerable. This quote explains itself, for Her Privates We is about the ordinary serving solder, tossed about by the fortunes of war. The book concerns Bourne, a private soldier; although not in the first person, it is written from his point of view, and we mostly see no other. It is set in the second part of 1916, after the Somme offensive.

HER PRIVATES WE is both singular and great. I don't have the background to say whether or not it is the finest novel to come out of the First World War or the noblest book of men in war, but I know that in the fullness of time I want to read it again, which is the highest praise I can give a novel.

Her Privates We book. There is no grand strategy on display here, and no heroics. Instead it is about cold, tired men marched from one place to another, always looking to The most famous literary work to come out of World War I was the novel All Quiet on the Western Front, but for the most part the war is known through its poetry and memoirs.

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Her privates we. by. Manning, Frederic. Published in an expurgated version as Her privates we in 1930"-T.

Her privates we. Books for People with Print Disabilities. Oliver Wendell Holmes Library.

These books went down well in literary circles, but did not enjoy a. .Frederic Manning never married. Frederic Manning’s Her Privates We: A Mystery of the Great War.

These books went down well in literary circles, but did not enjoy a particularly wide circulation. Manning was recognised as an up-and-coming writer, a reputation that the indifferent collection Poems (1910) did not dissipate. Like his hero Bourne, Manning was a private person, who kept his own counsel. Manning died of respiratory diseases at a Hampstead nursing home.

Frederic Manning enlisted in 1915 in the Shropshire Light Infantry and went to France in 1916 as "Private 19022. First published privately in 1929 asThe Middle Parts of Fortune, Her Privates We is the novel of the Battle of the Somme told from the perspective of Bourne, an ordinary private.

First published privately in 1929 as The Middle Parts of Fortune, Her Privates We is the novel of the Battle of the Somme told from the perspective of Bourne, an ordinary private.

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Goldenfang
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 one masterwork was published in 1929 under the title The Middle Parts of Fortune; soon afterwards, an expurgated version was brought out as Her Privates We. Today it can be found as either. Both titles are taken from the same dialogue in Hamlet:

Guildenstern: On Fortune’s cap we are not the very button.
Hamlet: Nor the soles of her shoe?
Rosencrantz: Neither, my lord.
Hamlet: Then you live about her waist, or in the middle of her favours?
Guildenstern: Faith, her privates we.
Hamlet: In the secret parts of fortune? O, most true; she is a strumpet.

This quote explains itself, for Her Privates We is about the ordinary serving solder, tossed about by the fortunes of war.

The book concerns Bourne, a private soldier; although not in the first person, it is written from his point of view, and we mostly see no other. It is set in the second part of 1916, after the Somme offensive. The book opens with Bourne groping along, dugout by duckboard, away from the trenches as his unit is withdrawn; it finishes with the unit’s return. In between, they are marched from one place to another behind the lines, supposedly resting. The book is thus set mostly not in the trenches, but it does begin and end there. In any case, the fact that it is mostly not set in the front line does not decrease its value, as troops spent much of their time behind the lines.

The book’s first chapters are not always easy to read. Some of the early passages are wordy and philosophical. It begins well, as Bourne and his unit withdraw from the front line, but then runs into the sand as Bourne, awake while his fellows sleep, smokes and ruminates on the nature of their presence there. It doesn’t add much. If the whole of the book were like this, it would be a self-indulgent bore.

But it’s well worth persisting because, after that awkward beginning, it becomes a vivid portrayal of a soldier’s life. The book has a number of insights for modern readers curious about the war, including the attitudes of the solders themselves to it. A century on, we have a picture of wildly patriotic young men flooding to the colours, but reading Bourne, one wonders whether this was the whole truth. Almost nowhere in Her Privates We does anyone express support for the war; they just accept it as a fact. They are angry with a deserter, because he left them to fight without him; but his betrayal of the Crown concerns them little. More important are the commonplace stupidities of authority. A major training exercise, planned to perfection, is brought to a halt by the fury of a peasant woman because the troops are trampling her clover, and she will have no feed for the winter. On another occasion the unit is sent up the line as a work detail, but because someone has recorded their fighting strength as their pay strength, everyone must go, including the cooks, and there is nothing to eat in the morning. War and authority are quite random:

“There’s a man dead outside, sergeant,” he said, dully.
“Are you sure he’s dead?”
“Yes, sergeant; most of the head’s gone.”

The book is packed with petty incident in the life of a soldier. The men pick the lice off their bellies, avoid guard duty, and try to have “a bon time” at estaminets where the beer is poor. There is detail here that never made the history books. Planes communicate with troops on the ground using klaxons. When the weather turns cold the men are issues with fleece-lined leather jerkins and, as a result, the lice multiply. As Orwell wrote in Homage to Catalonia: “In war all soldieries are lousy, at the least when it is warm enough. The men that fought at Verdun, at Waterloo, at Flodden, at Senlac, at Thermopylae – every one of them had lice crawling over his testicles.”

The narrative is punctuated with darker events. The deserter is returned, perhaps to be shot; a popular officer dies on a work detail; a pointless parade leads to the death of several men when it is shelled. There is also an underlying, ugly, theme: class. In Her Privates We, the soldiers are reminded constantly that they are inferior. Bourne’s boot is split at the heel by a cart he is towing, and he is lucky to be issued with boots that are of a higher grade, being for officers. In the estaminets, the best booze is labelled “For Officers Only”. Towards the end of the book, Bourne and his fellows come across a Forces canteen with “hams, cheeses, bottled fruits, olives, sardines, everything to make the place a vision of paradise for hungry men.” Entering, he is refused service by a man who “turned away superciliously, saying that they only served officers.” Another attendant is friendlier and tells him he can get cocoa and biscuits at a shed in the yard. Bourne is incensed, knowing that the goods in the shop have been paid for by public subscription and were intended for them all.

But the class distinctions have more subtle dangers. Bourne is pressed to apply for a commission, because it is obvious that he is not from the same background as the others. Reluctantly, he does so. Meanwhile, in the trenches, thinking he has seen a sniper, he reports to an officer. The meeting is a tense one, for they are of different rank but the same class, and the officer therefore treats him coldly. Anyone brought up in the multi-layered jungle of the British class system will recognise this; someone who appears to have “slipped”, or to be playing an unexpected role, is treated with suspicion – the officer is not quite sure what to make of him, and responds with dislike. The tension between them ends with Bourne being sent on the patrol that ends the book. Yet at the same time, Bourne’s descriptions of the soldiers he serves with suggest that he himself had a wide, and class-free, sympathy with one’s fellows; his immediate companions include an urban Jewish soldier and a rural gamekeeper’s son, and the narrator appears at ease with, and attached to, both.

How much of this account reflects Manning’s real experience? One suspects, quite a lot. Bourne, the lead character, is a little different from the others; he is better educated, there is a hint that he is not 100% English (as mentioned above, he was born in Australia – though this distinction would not have been so important then). He is also under pressure to try for a commission, having turned one down on enlistment. Also, the period in which the book is set seems to cover the last few months of 1916, after the worst of the Somme offensive.

This does match Manning’s own life – up to a point. Already 32 in 1914 and in poorish health, he made several attempts to enlist before finally being accepted as a footsoldier in the King’s Shropshire Regiment. In Her Privates We, Bourne maintains to a superior that he turned down a commission on enlisting as he felt he did not know enough of men to command them. In real life, Manning, an aesthete, may indeed not have known enough of working men to have led them. However, he did not turn down a commission. John Francis Swain, who included a concise and informative biography of Manning in a 2001 doctoral thesis, reports that he was accepted for one – but was caught drunk during officer training, and was returned to his regiment as a private. He joined it on the Somme in August 1916. He had missed the bloody start to the battle but he did fight. At the end of 1916 he was again sent for officer training and this time was commissioned, into the Royal Irish Regiment. His time in France therefore corresponds to the book. Her Privates We is based, then, on just three or four months in France.

Frederic Manning never returned to the field. As John Francis Swain records, he did not settle to life as an officer, and took again to drink. Early in 1918, he was allowed to resign his commission on health grounds. Although he did try to pick up the threads of his life after the war, he never really recovered from his chest problems, and died in 1935 at the age of just 52. For all his ambitions and distinguished literary friendships, he would quite likely have left us little had it not been for his brief, undistinguished part in the war. But because of that, he has left us with a book that probably tells us as much about the real life of the soldier on the Western Front as any book ever written.
VAZGINO
HER PRIVATES WE is the fictional account of life -- and death -- in a British battalion on the Western Front in World War I. As a historian and college professor, I have been reading a lot recently about World War One; after all, the centenary of that conflict was bound to result in a fountain of publications relating to the war. I then have to believe I have a better-than-average understanding of the events in that conflict. Frederic Manning's novel focuses on a small part of the war -- one sector (the Somme) -- one year (1916) -- and one British battalion. He writes with a passionate understanding of the lives of men in combat: the stress of life in the trenches, the challenges of finding rest and recuperation when out of the line. While the "Prefatory Note" does not explicitly state that Manning wrote from personal experience, his evocative portrayal of life in this British battalion gives every indication that he witnessed events much as he portrayed them in his narrative. A novelist has one advantage over the historian: the novelist can get into the mind of a character to explore emotions and thoughts, while the historian must focus on the visible and recordable behaviors that come from those internal pressures. Manning's book provided me with an essential link -- an insight, if you will -- to the thinking of men of my grandfather's generation who fought in the trenches of France. While it might be a bit overstated to say this is an essential read for people wanting to learn about World War I, it is a valuable book, both for those seeking to understand what soldiers on the Western Front suffered through in order to win "the war to end wars," and for those seeking insight into the experience of combat from the perspective of the foot soldier. Be warned: this is not a light, summer-at-the-beach reading affair. The cavalry does not come riding to the rescue in the last chapter. This is a narrative of men in combat, a life always nasty, sometimes brutal, and frequently mean.
Prince Persie
There are many pop history books on the subject. Some are good. And there is a g rowing body of forensic history on WW1 if you can get access. This account is something else. An honest appraisal from the soldier's perspective. This account gives a small window into how the soldiers who took part in the WW1 battles felt and who they were.

Very engrossing account. It feels honest for what it is and I am very glad I read it.

The opening of each chapter quotes Shakespeare, which probably dates it. But that is part of the point. The book was written by someone who lived at that time and shared the common sentiments and "feelings" of that time. It is the more contemporary perspective that risks anachronism. And for this quality of contemporary realism I especially appreciated the work.
Akinozuru
Manning made this a fictionalized account of the western front following the Battle of the Somme. The people and dialog are captured very well. All of the characters are given some depth. The grinding, endless, often ugly, sometimes humorous war is described in great detail. His central character is an educated man with careful speech who is often encouraged to apply for a commission, and who is very detailed in his observations of the people of the war. (He is much less concerned than other writers with the technical details; he offers few descriptions of weaponry, for example).
Garne
This is a somewhat unusual story of war. It does speak of the expected horrors of trench warfare in WWI and of "going over the top", but its emphasis isn't on the battle scenes. It is a more cerebral and philosophical look at the war and the men in it from the viewpoint of one young English private. You also see the rigid class structure of English society in the army. If you are looking for a simple blood and guts war story this isn't for you. If you are looking for a more thought provoking peek at the men who have to actually shed their blood and guts for king and country, you will appreciate it.
Her Privates We ebook
Author:
Frederic Manning
Category:
Genre Fiction
Subcat:
EPUB size:
1468 kb
FB2 size:
1451 kb
DJVU size:
1265 kb
Language:
Publisher:
Imprint unknown; New edition edition (December 1964)
Pages:
288 pages
Rating:
4.2
Other formats:
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