A far-fetched war

First, a disclaimer: this review will not touch upon some recent, odd behaviour of this book’s author, Orlando Figes, because I can’t see that it’s relevant.


. . . and they did to us

The craters are all filled in, the ruins replaced, and the last memories retold only in the whispery voices of the old.

What we did to them . . .

The perception of war changes, remarked the poet Robert Graves, when ‘your Aunt Fanny, the firewatcher, is as likely to be killed as a soldier in battle’.

A dream to fly

Undeniably the Hawker Hurricane has suffered the fate of the less pretty sister.


Mud, blood and jungle rot

The Matterhorn, at 14,679 feet in the Alps, is said to be very difficult to climb.


Not cowardly enough

Nobody who reads Nigel Farndale’s The Blasphemer is likely to complain about being short-changed.

Beyond the call of duty

Men of War: Courage under Fire in the 19th-century Navy, by David Crane


The end of the affair

Americans in Paris, by Charles Glass