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Philip Gibbs

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#1 OFFLINE   raymac46


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Posted 13 July 2019 - 09:38 AM

There is another thread about Linux Books that seems to have morphed into a thread on old murder mysteries and historical writing. Rather than continue to hijack this thread, I'll start one here about my favorite writer of World War 1 - Philip Gibbs (1877-1962)
Gibbs was in his 30s when the Great War Started and an experienced war correspondent. He went to the Western Front early on, and refused to return to England when the War Office imposed censorship on dispatches from France. He was arrested and deported but later on agreed to work under the rules and spent the rest of the War reporting from the front lines. He got to tell it his way after the War and it's a great read.


Gibbs was knighted in the 1920s, had the first English interview with Pope Benedict XV, and continued to write books about Britain after the War. He was shaken by the carnage in the trenches and briefly flirted with appeasing Hitler in the 30s. He soon came round, and although he was too old to undertake another War as a correspondent, he worked in the War Office in World War 2.

He was a great writer, but unfortunately you cannot write about earth shaking historical events when you are in the middle of them. Too much recency bias and you don't know the ending (although your readers 100 years later will.) But if you read only one thing by Gibbs let it be "Now It Can Be Told."

By the way , Philip Gibbs' aunt worked in Buckingham Palace for Queen Victoria and it is said she got to spank the Kaiser when he was misbehaving as a small boy. :yes:

Edited by raymac46, 13 July 2019 - 09:39 AM.

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#2 OFFLINE   securitybreach


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Posted 13 July 2019 - 10:18 AM

Neat :thumbsup:
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"Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating? It is the exact opposite of the stupid hedonistic Utopias that the old reformers imagined. A world of fear and treachery and torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but more merciless as it refines itself. Progress in our world will be progress toward more pain." -George Orwell, 1984

#3 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 15 July 2019 - 12:32 PM

> ...seems to have morphed into a thread on old murder mysteries and historical writing.

Ah, pooh... shredded (off-topic) threads are often the ones that are most interesting. ;)

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