The Phoenix Generation

Henry Williamson
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ISBN 9780571278084 Format Paperback
Published 19/05/2011 Length 384 pages

About Book

Volume twelve of A Chronicle of Ancient Sunlight. In this novel of the troubled and decadent years before the Second World War, Phillip Maddison sees the survivors of the Western Front as a phoenix generation impelled to reject the past in order to make a country 'fit for heroes'. Yet he remains aloof from any direct action, preferring to plan his own history of the Great War and its aftermath while becoming deeply involved in his own problems. Looking meanwhile over the international scene, as the storm clouds of war gather inexorably, the Faust-like figure of Hitler is preaching the advent of a new Europe, based on a thousand years of peace.

'He commands, and is able to turn to artistic ends, a powerful and mournful sense of the near past which has shaped and distorted us into what we are.' Normal Shrapnel, Guardian

  • About Henry Williamson

    Henry Williamson (1895-1977) was a prolific writer best known for Tarka the Otter which won the Hawthornden Prize in 1927. He wrote much of else of quality including The Wet Flanders Plain, The Flax of Dream tetralogy and the fifteen volume A Chronicle of Ancient Sunlight all of which are being reissued in Faber Finds.

    His politics were unfortunate, naively and misguidedly right-wing. In truth, he was a Romantic. The critic George Painter famously said of him, 'He stands at the end of the line of Blake, Shelley and Jefferies: he is last classic and the last romantic.'

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