Another curio for Jane Austen’s birthday anniversary. Definitely in the I didn’t know category.
Two hundred and forty years ago today Jane Austen was born. As many of you know I am an ardent admirer of her work, and consider her wonderful books as a brilliant window onto her times. But I am not going to consider that period today, rather go back only one hundred years, when her works found a new, and surprising audience.
By 1915 the First World War had settled down, the trench lines had been established, effectively cutting Europe into two, and the British Army faced an unexpected problem – Boredom!
For most of the time, along that long line from the North Sea to the Alps, nothing happened. Troops were marched down to the front line trenches, waited there for a day or two and marched back. There was only so much training that could be done, and soon the authorities realised that something was needed. Various…
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