Men at Arms
UK First Edition Book & Synopsis
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Published 1952 by Chapman + Hall
Blue cloth, gilt titles
Dust jacket priced at 15s
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This is a novel of military life.
The author was already an experienced writer in 1939 and he was unusually, perhaps uniquely, fortunate in evading all the semi-literary, semi-bureaucratic tasks which fell on his colleagues. He spent the war from start to finish as a junior officer engaged chiefly in ordinary regimental soldiering.
He hopes to complete a trilogy of novels, each complete in itself, recounting the phases of a long love affair, full of vicissitudes, between a civilian and the army.
Men at Arms is concerned with the first year of the war. Guy Crouchback (who has nothing in common with the author beyond their common Faith and age) is a romantic, spiritually crippled and socially isolated, numbed and desiccated by previous misfortune. He sees in war the hope of personal revitalization. That is the theme of this novel and of its proposed successors.