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By John Hughes-Wilson & Nigel Steel
The First World War is such an enormous topic that it can be looked at from so many angles, and this book cleverly uses each of the chosen objects to introduce a particular topic. For example, the Prussian ‘pickelhaube’ helmet leads into an essay on German imperialism, while a piece of Kaiser Bill toilet roll represents a particularly bawdy example of British anti-German propaganda. With images in both black-and-white as well as colour, this absorbing book uses maps and money, flags and articles of clothing, as well as an assortment of memorabilia, including a Toby jug of Field Marshall Haig and Edith Cavell’s diary, to tell the story of the Great War.
Beginning with George V’s imperial crown to symbolize Britain’s power, the book takes the reader from the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his bloodstained tunic through the fighting on so many fronts to Lutyens’ sketches for the cenotaph. Cassell 448pp Hb. GFH135 £30.00