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Springhaven : a Tale of the Great War   By: (1825-1900)

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Springhaven: A Tale of the Great War by Richard D. Blackmore is a historical fiction novel that takes readers back to the tumultuous years of World War I. Set in the coastal village of Springhaven, England, the story beautifully captures the profound impact the war had on both the community and its individuals.

The novel begins by introducing us to the Ashons, a well-respected local family, whose lives are irrevocably changed by the onset of war. From the outset, Blackmore expertly creates a detailed and evocative setting, drawing readers into the lush landscapes and quaint village life of Springhaven. The vibrant descriptions painted a vivid picture of an idyllic community, making the subsequent events all the more harrowing.

The characters in Springhaven are deeply compelling and multi-dimensional. We follow the journey of Alan Ashon, the story's central protagonist, as he joins the British army and is deployed to the front lines. Through Alan’s eyes, we witness the horrors of war, the bonds forged between soldiers, and the resilience they display in the face of adversity. Blackmore skillfully portrays the psychological toll the war takes on these men, expertly capturing their fears, hopes, and ultimately their sacrifices.

The narrative is propelled forward by a carefully constructed plot that seamlessly weaves together personal tales of love, loss, and camaraderie against the backdrop of the larger conflict. The pacing is steady, allowing readers to fully immerse themselves in the characters' lives and experiences. The author's attention to historical accuracy is commendable, as he incorporates real-life events of the war into the story, further grounding it in reality.

At its core, Springhaven serves as a poignant reminder of the human cost of war. Blackmore's portrayal of the devastating effects it has on individuals and communities is both thought-provoking and heart-wrenching. Through his well-crafted prose, he evokes a wide range of emotions, from hope to despair, while exploring themes of bravery, sacrifice, and the enduring power of love.

If there is any criticism to be made, it lies in the occasionally meandering nature of the narrative. There are moments when the story veers off into tangents that, while illuminating certain aspects of the characters' lives, detract slightly from the overall flow of the novel. Nonetheless, these instances are relatively minor and do not diminish the impact of the book as a whole.

In conclusion, Springhaven: A Tale of the Great War is a remarkable piece of historical fiction that successfully transports readers to the tumultuous era of World War I. Richard D. Blackmore's masterful storytelling and vivid descriptions create a captivating narrative that resonates long after the final page. It is a moving tribute to the courage and resilience of those who lived through this dark period in history, and a powerful reminder of the true cost of war.

First Page:


A Tale of the Great War

By R. D. Blackmore




In the days when England trusted mainly to the vigor and valor of one man, against a world of enemies, no part of her coast was in greater peril than the fair vale of Springhaven. But lying to the west of the narrow seas, and the shouts both of menace and vigilance, the quiet little village in the tranquil valley forbore to be uneasy.

For the nature of the place and race, since time has outlived memory, continually has been, and must be, to let the world pass easily. Little to talk of, and nothing to do, is the healthy condition of mankind just there. To all who love repose and shelter, freedom from the cares of money and the cark of fashion, and (in lieu of these) refreshing air, bright water, and green country, there is scarcely any valley left to compare with that of Springhaven. This valley does not interrupt the land, but comes in as a pleasant relief to it. No glaring chalk, no grim sandstone, no rugged flint, outface it; but deep rich meadows, and foliage thick, and cool arcades of ancient trees, defy the noise that men make. And above the trees, in shelving distance, rise the crests of upland, a soft gray lias, where orchards thrive, and greensward strokes down the rigor of the rocks, and quick rills lace the bosom of the slope with tags of twisted silver... Continue reading book >>

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