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The War on All Fronts: England's Effort Letters to an American Friend   By: (1851-1920)

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[Transcriber's notes: Original spelling retained, original copyright information retained, italics are indicated by underscores.]

Volume II

England's Effort

Letters To An American Friend

[Illustration: Spring time in the North Sea Snow on a British Battleship.]

The War On All Fronts

England's Effort

Letters To An American Friend

By Mrs. Humphry Ward

With A Preface By Joseph H. Choate


New York Charles Scribner's Sons 1918




That is the question which Mrs. Ward, replying to some doubts and queries of an American friend, has undertaken to answer in this series of letters, and every one who reads them will admit that her answer is as complete and triumphant as it is thrilling. Nobody but a woman, an Englishwoman of warm heart, strong brain, and vivid power of observation, could possibly have written these letters which reflect the very soul of England since this wicked and cruel war began. She has unfolded and interpreted to us, as no one else, I think, has even attempted to do, the development and absolute transformation of English men and women, which, has enabled them, living and dying, to secure for their proud nation under God that "new birth of freedom" which Lincoln at Gettysburg prophesied for his own countrymen. Really the cause is the same, to secure the selfsame thing, "that government of the people, by the people, and for the people may not perish from the earth"; and if any American wishes to know how this has been accomplished, he must read these letters, which were written expressly for our enlightenment.

Mrs. Ward had marvellous qualifications for this patriotic task. The granddaughter of Doctor Arnold and the niece of Matthew Arnold, from childhood up she has been as deeply interested in politics and in public affairs as she has been in literature, by which she has attained such world wide fame, and next to English politics, in American politics and American opinion. She has been a staunch believer in the greatness of America's future, and has maintained close friendship with leaders of public thought on both sides of the water. Her only son is a member of Parliament, and is fighting in the war, just as all the able bodied men she knows are doing.

She has received from the English government special opportunities of seeing what England has been doing in the war, and has been allowed to go with her daughter where few English men and no other women have been allowed to go, to see the very heart of England's preparedness. She has visited, since the war began, the British fleet, the very key of the whole situation, without whose unmatched power and ever increasing strength the Allies at the outset must have succumbed. She has watched, always under the protection and guidance of that wonderful new Minister of Munitions, Lloyd George, the vast activity of that ministry throughout the country, and finally in a motor tour of five hundred miles, through the zone of the English armies in France, she has seen with her own eyes, that marvellous organization of everything that goes to make and support a great army, which England has built up in the course of eighteen months behind her fighting line. She has witnessed within three quarters of a mile of the fighting line, with a gas helmet at hand, ready to put on, a German counter attack after a successful English advance something which no other woman, except herself and her daughter, who accompanied her, has ever had the opportunity to see.

Mrs. Ward admits that at the beginning England was unprepared, which itself demonstrated that as a Nation she never wished for war with Germany, and never expected it. Her countrymen had no faith in Lord Roberts's ten year long agitation for universal national service, based on the portentous growth of the German army and navy... Continue reading book >>

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