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A Test to Destruction

Henry Williamson
Date Published
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A Test to Destruction (1960) was the eighth entry in Henry Williamson’s fifteen-volume A Chronicle of Ancient Sunlight spanning the years from the late Victorian period to the Second World War. It begins in the final year of the Great War. After the harsh winter of 1917 everyone is nearing the limits of their endurance. Hetty, temporarily relieved to have Phillip safely home, hopes desperately that her son will not be posted to France again. Phillip, however, is determined to go back, and adds his name to a list of those available for service. After returning to the Front, however, he is injured and sent on convalescent leave in the West Country, where his post-war civilian life begins.
‘Williamson’s style is romantic, though rarely sentimental, and his sensuous response to nature is fresh and surprising.’ Anthony Burgess, Ninety-Nine Novels: The Best in English since 1939


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…

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