Published to coincide with the centenary of the outbreak of war, World War I Love Stories tells the unforgettable stories of lovers brought together or torn apart by the Great War. These are tales of romance and sometimes, great tragedy, but most of all they are tales of enduring love at a time when the world was full of horror.
For the soldiers who fought in it, the First World War was truly 'the war to end all wars' but the febrile atmosphere it generated, as couples fell in love across previously impassable boundaries of distance or class, caused many lovers to declares themselves long before convention would have allowed earlier.
The love stories range widely, from the tale of Captain Robert Digby, on the run in in Occupied France, who fell in love with Claire Dessenne - a beauty whose neighbours were ultimately to betray their trust - the the sad account of the girl Ernest Hemingway fell in love with as he recuperated in a Milan hospital, and who was to inspire his great novel, A Farewell to Arms.
These 14 moving and engaging accounts are accompanied by a wealth of letters, journals and photographs that bring the past to vividly to life.
World War I Love Stories by Gill Paul was published on 7 April 2014 by Ivy Press, and has an introduction by Adrian Gilbert.
Gill Paul is an accomplished author, she specialises in history and has written over thirty books. World War I Love Stories is a beautifully presented collection of intimate stories, accompanied by photographs, snippets of actual letters and diary entries recovered and preserved by those left behind.
Although some of the couples are more well-known, such as Ernest Hemingway and the nurse that he fell for whilst in hospital; each one of these couples have their own moving and remarkable story to be told. From all walks of life and from different parts of the world, and indeed from opposing sides in the War - these couples are all very human and Gill Paul expertly retells their love stories. Not just the facts, but also their characters, their emotions and their often horrific experiences during what was supposed to be the war to end all wars.
For me, the thing that makes this book very special are the accompanying photographs and the opportunity to read the actual words written by the couples during these times. Gill Paul's research has been meticulously done; tracking down ancestors of the couples and being able to personalise each of the stories with an intimate glimpse into their personalities.
My thanks to the author and Emily from Ivy Press who sent my copy for review.
Gill Paul is author of the popular Love Stories series, which includes Titanic Love Stories (2011), Civil War Love Stories (2013), and World War II Love Stories (2014). Among her other published works are the historical novels Women and Children First (2012) and The Affair (2013).
She also writes on health, healthy eating, and a variety of other subjects ranging from cowboys of the American South and extreme weather events to ghost-hunting and relationships.
Gill runs her own company based in London that produces books for publishers. She has edited Griff Rhys Jones, John Suchet, John Julius Norwich, Ray Mears and Eartha Kitt, among others, and ghostwritten for many more. She has written film treatments, newspaper features about relationships and history, and TV tie-ins.
For more information visit her website www.gillpaul.com