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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
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