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A Hilltop on the Marne Being Letters Written June 3-September 8, 1914   By: (1853-1928)

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In "A Hilltop on the Marne: Being Letters Written June 3-September 8, 1914," Mildred Aldrich offers an outstanding firsthand account of the tumultuous period surrounding the onset of World War I. Throughout the book, Aldrich compiles a series of heartfelt and poignant letters written from her hilltop home in France, providing readers with a unique perspective on the war.

What makes this book truly remarkable is Aldrich's ability to convey both the immense gravity of the situation and the resilience of the human spirit during times of adversity. Through her eloquent prose, she vividly describes the palpable tension and uncertainty that gripped the French countryside as war drew near. Readers are transported to Aldrich's hilltop abode, where they witness the arrival of waves of refugees, the sound of artillery fire, and the ever-present shadow of war looming overhead.

One of the book's strongest aspects is Aldrich's unwavering commitment to staying true to her journalistic duties. Despite the chaos unfolding around her, she doggedly continues to document the events and share her insights with a multitude of readers. Aldrich's dedication to her craft shines through in her meticulous attention to detail and her honest portrayal of the individuals she encounters. From French soldiers to village locals, Aldrich captures the human essence, reminding us that even in times of great turmoil, people find solace in kindness and compassion.

Additionally, Aldrich's introspective reflections add depth and introspection to the narrative. As she grapples with her own fears and doubts, she invites readers to join her on a personal journey of self-discovery amidst the backdrop of war. Through her letters, Aldrich conveys a sense of camaraderie and shared humanity, making her experiences relatable, even a century later.

While the book mainly focuses on the early days of the war, it also offers insight into the effects of conflict on civilian life. Aldrich's observations highlight the struggles faced by those living in war-torn regions, offering a counterbalance to the wider historical narratives often intertwined with military campaigns. Her accounts of resource scarcity, evacuation, and the impact of war on everyday routines provide readers with a more comprehensive understanding of the war's toll on civilians.

"A Hilltop on the Marne" is an exceptional read for history enthusiasts and those seeking a personal perspective of World War I. Mildred Aldrich's masterful storytelling and her ability to blend journalistic integrity with heartfelt introspection make this book a poignant reminder of the triumph of the human spirit during times of unimaginable adversity.

First Page:


By Mildred Aldrich

Being Letters Written June 3 September 8, 1914

Note To Tenth Impression

The author wishes to apologize for the constant use of the word English in speaking of the British Expedition to France. At the beginning of the war this was a colloquial error into which we all fell over here, even the French press. Everything in khaki was spoken of as "English," even though we knew perfectly well that Scotch, Irish, and Welsh were equally well represented in the ranks, and the colors they followed were almost universally spoken of as the "English flag." These letters were written in the days before the attention of the French press was called to this error of speech, which accounts for the mistake's persisting in the book.

La Creste, Huiry,

France, February, 1916.

To My Grandmother Judith Trask Baker That Staunch New Englander And Pioneer Universalist To The Memory Of Whose Courage And Example I Owe A Debt Of Eternal Gratitude


June 3, 1914

Well, the deed is done. I have not wanted to talk with you much about it until I was here. I know all your objections. You remember that you did not spare me when, a year ago, I told you that this was my plan. I realize that you more active, younger, more interested in life, less burdened with your past feel that it is cowardly on my part to seek a quiet refuge and settle myself into it, to turn my face peacefully to the exit, feeling that the end is the most interesting event ahead of me the one truly interesting experience left to me in this incarnation... Continue reading book >>

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