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War Stories

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By: Mary Rowlandson (c.1637-1711)

A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson by Mary Rowlandson A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson

This is the story of Mary Rowlandson’s capture by American Indians in 1675. It is a blunt, frightening, and detailed work with several moments of off-color humor. Mary, the wife of a minister, was captured by Natives during King Philips War while living in a Lancaster town, most of which was decimated, and the people murdered. See through her eyes, which depict Indians as the instruments of Satan. Her accounts were a best-seller of the era, and a seminal work, being one of the first captivity narratives ever published by a woman...

By: Mary Seacole (1805-1881)

Book cover Wonderful Adventures of Mrs. Seacole in Many Lands

I should have thought that no preface would have been required to introduce Mrs. Seacole to the British public, or to recommend a book which must, from the circumstances in which the subject of it was placed, be unique in literature. If singleness of heart, true charity, and Christian works; if trials and sufferings, dangers and perils, encountered boldly by a helpless woman on her errand of mercy in the camp and in the battle-field, can excite sympathy or move curiosity, Mary Seacole will have many friends and many readers...

By: May Sinclair (1863-1946)

Journal of Impressions in Belgium by May Sinclair Journal of Impressions in Belgium

In 1914, at the age of 51, the novelist and poet May Sinclair volunteered to leave the comforts of England to go to the Western Front, joining the Munro Ambulance Corps ministering to wounded Belgian soldiers in Flanders. Her experiences in the Great War, brief and traumatizing as they were, permeated the prose and poetry she wrote after this time. Witness of great human pain and tragedy, Sinclair was in serious danger of her life on multiple occasions. This journal makes no attempt to be anything more than a journal: a lucid, simple, heart-breaking account of war at first hand.

By: Nellie McClung (1873-1951)

Book cover Three Times and Out

The true story of M. C. Simmons, a Canadian soldier captured by the German Army during the early days of World War I. We read of his sixteen months of imprisonment, his encounters with other captured troops of the other Allied armies and his observations of the nature of his captors and their countrymen. Most compellingly we read of his escape from POW camp, his recapture and punishment, and then the capture and punishment following his second escape attempt, climaxing in his third escape attempt and daring travel through enemy territory against all odds...

By: Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (1809-1894)

Book cover My Hunt After 'The Captain'

Holmes describes his frantic search through Civil War torn landscapes for his wounded son, the future Supreme Court Justice. Originally published in The Atlantic Magazine, 1862. Holmes, Sr. (1809 -1894) was an American physician, poet, professor, lecturer, and author. He was regarded by his peers as one of the best writers of the 19th century. His most famous prose works are the "Breakfast Table" series, which began with The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table (1858). He is also recognized as an important medical reformer.

By: P. G. Wodehouse (1881-1975)

The Swoop! by P. G. Wodehouse The Swoop!

The Swoop! tells of the simultaneous invasion of England by several armies — “England was not merely beneath the heel of the invader. It was beneath the heels of nine invaders. There was barely standing-room.” (ch. 1) — and features references to many well-known figures of the day, among them the politician Herbert Gladstone, novelist Edgar Wallace, actor-managers Seymour Hicks and George Edwardes, and boxer Bob Fitzsimmons.

By: Padraic Colum (1881-1972)

The Adventures of Odysseus and the Tale of Troy by Padraic Colum The Adventures of Odysseus and the Tale of Troy

Also known as “The Children’s Homer,” this is Irish writer Padraic Colum’s retelling of the events of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey for young people. Colum’s rich, evocative prose narrates the travails of Odysseus, King of Ithaca: his experiences fighting the Trojan War, and his ten years’ journey home to his faithful wife Penelope and his son Telemachus.

By: Pat O'Brien (1890-1920)

Book cover Outwitting The Hun; My Escape From A German Prison Camp

A true war narrative, published in 1918 while WWI was still going on.

By: Philip Gibbs (1877-1962)

Book cover Now It Can Be Told

In this book I have written about some aspects of the war which, I believe, the world must know and remember, not only as a memorial of men's courage in tragic years, but as a warning of what will happen again--surely--if a heritage of evil and of folly is not cut out of the hearts of peoples. Here it is the reality of modern warfare not only as it appears to British soldiers, of whom I can tell, but to soldiers on all the fronts where conditions were the same... The purpose of this book is to get...

By: Phoebe Yates Pember (1823-1913)

Book cover Reminiscences of a Southern Hospital, by Its Matron

Phoebe Yates Pember served as a matron in the Confederate Chimborazo military hospital in Richmond, Virginia, during the Civil War, overseeing a dietary kitchen serving meals to 300 or more wounded soldiers daily. Reminiscences of a Southern Hospital is her vivid recounting of hospital life and of her tribulations (and personal growth) as a female administrator. To follow her from day one, when she is greeted with “ill-repressed disgust” that “one of them had come,” and she, herself, “could...

By: Pierre Loti (1850-1923)

War by Pierre Loti War

Pierre Loti [Julien Viaud] (1850-1923) was a French naval officer and novelist. The present book is one of his few works of non-fiction, a small collection of letters and diary entries that describe his views and experiences in the wars and military operations in which he participated. Besides World War I, he also sheds light upon his views and involvement in the preparations for the Turkish Revolution of 1923, for which until today a famous hill and popular café in Istanbul are named after him.

By: Randall Garrett (1927-1987)

The Highest Treason by Randall Garrett The Highest Treason

Set in a future in which humanity’s dream of total equality is fully realized and poverty in terms of material wealth has been eliminated, humanity has straight-jacketed itself into the only social system which could make this possible. Class differentiation is entirely horizontal rather than vertical and no matter what one’s chosen field, all advancement is based solely on seniority rather than ability. What is an intelligent and ambitious man to do when enslaved by a culture that forbids him from utilizing his God-given talents? If he’s a military officer in time of war, he might just decide to switch sides...

By: Richard Haigh (1895-)

Book cover Life in a Tank

Richard Haigh was an Infantry lieutenant in the 2nd Royal Berkshire Infantry Regiment serving in the Somme area in 1916. Shortly after Tanks were first used in battle in September of 1916 the British Army asked for volunteers, Lieutenant Haigh signed up and was accepted in December of 1916. He describes the training and actions he participated in until the war ended in 1918. He was awarded MC in 1916 as Lt. (acting Capt.) Richard Haigh, Royal Berkshire Regiment. He was commissioned from the RMC (Sandhurst) to the Berkshires 16th Feb 1915; on resigning his commission in 1919, he joined the General Reserve of Officers.

By: Richard Harding Davis (1864-1916)

Notes of a War Correspondent by Richard Harding Davis Notes of a War Correspondent

Experiences and observations of the journalist in the Cuban-Spanish War, the Greek-Turkish War, the Spanish-American War, the South African War, and the Japanese-Russian War, accompanied by "A War Correspondent’s Kit."

By: Robert Burrows (1812-1897)

Book cover Extracts from a Diary Kept by the Rev. R. Burrows during Heke's War in the North, in 1845

An eye-witness account of the so-called Flagstaff War, fought between Maori warriors, led by Hone Heke, and British troops between March 1845 and January 1846 in and around the Bay of Islands. Ostensibly triggered by the cutting down of the flagstaff above Kororareka (now Russell), Heke's attack on the town was a consequence of festering grievances following the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi and annexation of New Zealand by the British Crown in 1840. The Reverend Robert Burrows had charge of the mission station and school at Waimate, inland from the Bay of Islands...

By: Robert Henry Newell (1836-1901)

Book cover The Orpheus C. Kerr Papers

These are a collection of humorous "letters" written by a fictional character to a relation in the north during the Civil War. They were published regularly in the New York Mercury Sunday newspaper for the four years of the war. In the letters, Newell pokes fun at northern generals, politicians, and has hard things to say about southerners. Although Newell is rarely serious, I imagine the letters reflect the bitterness and frustration of many northerners at the time. (Introduction by Margaret)

By: Robert Laurence Binyon (1869-1943)

Book cover Winnowing Fan: Poems On The Great War

This little gem of a book contains twelve poems about World War I. There is more to it than its intrinsic value as verse. Edward Elgar (1857-1934) set three of the poems (The Fourth Of August, To Women, For The Fallen) in his cantata The Spirit of England (1915-1917). Since its composing and musical setting, For The Fallen has held an honored place in every November 11th Remembrance Day for Britain and the Commonwealth (Memorial Day for Americans). Moved by the opening of the Great War and the...

By: Robert Louis Stevenson

The Black Arrow; a Tale of Two Roses by Robert Louis Stevenson The Black Arrow; a Tale of Two Roses

The Black Arrow tells the story of Richard (Dick) Shelton during the Wars of the Roses: how he becomes a knight, rescues his lady Joanna Sedley, and obtains justice for the murder of his father, Sir Harry Shelton. Outlaws in Tunstall Forest organized by Ellis Duckworth, whose weapon and calling card is a black arrow, cause Dick to suspect that his guardian Sir Daniel Brackley and his retainers are responsible for his father’s murder. Dick’s suspicions are enough to turn Sir Daniel against him, so he has no recourse but to escape from Sir Daniel and join the outlaws of the Black Arrow against him...

By: Robert Marshall Allen (1886-1946)

Book cover War Letters From A Young Queenslander

Letters from a Brisbane doctor posted to the Western Front from 1914 to December 1915. He tells anecdotes of World War I including stories of "de-lousing" an entire regiment, the precise arrangements of the urine trenches and his eyewitness accounts of the battles of Neuve Chapelle and Ypres and a contemporary comment on the Gallipoli campaign. He describes how the enemy rains shells on the ambulances and the retrievals of the wounded from the trenches at night. This was also a time of great medical...

By: Robert Sidney Bowen (1900-1977)

Dave Dawson on Guadalcanal by Robert Sidney Bowen Dave Dawson on Guadalcanal

One of a series of youth-oriented adventure books set in contemporary WWII era, featuring fictional American flying ace, Dave Dawson.

By: Romain Rolland (1866-1944)

Pierre and Luce by Romain Rolland Pierre and Luce

Pierre and Luce were an unlikely young pair who found themselves in the chaos of Paris during the war; Pierre, the shy, recently conscripted pacifist, and Luce, the free spirited artist in training, and both confused about the things going on around them. Why were these war birds flying overhead? Why these warning sirens, and occasional bombs exploding in the distance? Why did the government leaders, who didn't even know one another, hate and destroy so much? Why did these two delicate young adults find each other now? This story takes place between January 30 and Good Friday, May 29, 1918. (Introduction by Roger Melin)

By: Rudyard Kipling

The Light that Failed by Rudyard Kipling The Light that Failed

This novel, first published in 1890, follows the life of Dick Heldar, a painter. Most of the novel is set in London, but many important events throughout the story occur in Sudan or India. It was made into a 1916 film with Jose Collins and a 1939 film by Paramount starring Ronald Colman.

The Brushwood Boy by Rudyard Kipling The Brushwood Boy

The experiences in public school, Sandhurst and military life in India of Major George Cottar together with his adventures in the dream world he discovers and frequents.

Book cover France At War: On the Frontier of Civilization

In 1915, as the "Great War" (World War 1) entered its second year Rudyard Kipling made a journalistic tour of the front, visiting French armed forces. By then he was already winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature (the first writer in English to be so honoured). He published his observations in articles in the Daily Telegraph in England, and in the New York Sun. At that stage of the war nationalistic sentiments were running high but the true cost of war was beginning to be understood "at home"...

Book cover Fleet In Being; Notes Of Two Trips With The Channel Squadron

[Kipling] became involved in the debate over the British response to the rise in German naval power known as the Tirpitz Plan to build a fleet to challenge the Royal Navy, publishing a series of articles in 1898 which were collected as A Fleet in Being. And as always with Kipling there is that wonderful sardonic humor and attention to the lower orders of being.

Book cover Fringes Of The Fleet

During the war (WWI), [Kipling] wrote a booklet The Fringes of the Fleet containing essays and poems on various nautical subjects of the war. Some of the poems were set to music by English composer Edward Elgar.

By: Saki

When William Came by Saki When William Came

We have had many novels about alternate histories, often of the ‘What would have happened if Hitler had won the war’ type and this is another – except that this one is set in 1913 and the ‘William’ of the title is that old bogeyman ‘Kaiser Bill’. For some reason, at the height of Britain’s power, the fear of invasion was common at that time. (See ‘The Riddle of the Sands’, ‘The Battle of Dorking’, ‘Spies of the Kaiser’ or even ‘The War of the Worlds’)WARNING:- Contains mild anti-semitism and jingoism typical of the period

By: Sarah Emma Edmonds (1841-1898)

Book cover Nurse and Spy in the Union Army

The “Nurse and Spy” is simply a record of events which have transpired in the experience and under the observation of one who has been on the field and participated in numerous battles—among which are the first and second Bull Run, Williamsburg, Fair Oaks, the Seven days in front of Richmond, Antietam, and Fredericksburg—serving in the capacity of “Spy” and as “Field Nurse” for over two years.While in the “Secret Service” as a “Spy,” which is one of the most hazardous positions in the army—she penetrated the enemy’s lines, in various disguises, no less than eleven times; always with complete success and without detection...

By: Sarah Morgan Dawson (1842-1909)

A Confederate Girl's Diary by Sarah Morgan Dawson A Confederate Girl's Diary

Sarah Morgan Dawson was a young woman of 20 living in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, when she began this diary. The American Civil War was raging. Though at first the conflict seemed far away, it would eventually be brought home to her in very personal terms. Her family's loyalties were divided. Sarah's father, though he disapproved of secession, declared for the South when Louisiana left the Union. Her eldest brother, who became the family patriarch when his father died in 1861, was for the Union, though he refused to take up arms against his fellow Southerners...

By: Siegfried Sassoon (1886-1967)

Book cover War Poems of Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon was one of the first to write poetry about the brutal reality of war, based on his real-life experiences in the trenches. He served in World War I on the Western Front and was awarded the Military Cross for bravery under fire. However, he later became a convicted pacifist, threw his Military Cross into the Mersey river, and continued to write and publish poems and political statements against the war. His poems capture the despair he felt towards the war overall, and he paints vivid word pictures that make the reader "pray you'll never know, the hell where youth and laughter go"...

By: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930)

The Adventures of Gerard by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle The Adventures of Gerard

These lesser known stories were penned by Conan Doyle during the period between killing off Sherlock Holmes in 1893 and reluctantly resurrecting him some ten years later. The swashbuckling, eponymous hero, Etienne Gerard, is one of Napoleon's gallant French Hussars, who considers himself the finest of them all. Through these "Boys Own Adventures", Conan Doyle pokes gentle fun at both the French and the English. This is the second volume containing eight adventures.

The White Company by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle The White Company

Set during the Hundred Years’ War with France, The White Company tells the story of a young Saxon man who is learning what it is to be a knight. Raised by Cistercian Monks and rejected by a violent elder brother, Alleyn Edricson takes service with one of the foremost knights in the country. When Alleyn falls in love with the knight’s daughter, he must prove himself to be a courageous and honourable knight before he can win her hand. Alleyn and his friends set forth with the other men-at-arms to join Prince Edward in Bordeaux, from where they will take part in the Prince’s campaign into Spain...


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