Not for the first time, I have been reading The White Rabbit [London: Cassell & Co, 2000] by Bruce Marshall. Probably the first time was not long after it was first published in 1952 when memories of the recent war were still green. Marshall recounts the wartime experiences of Wing-Commander Yeo-Thomas, a long-time resident in France, fluent French speaker and a director of the couturier Molyneux which itself has been set up by a former British army officer after WW1. His experiences were nothing short of horrific and it is a testament to his mental, never mind physical, powers of endurance, and his ingenuity, that he survived to tell his tale through Marshall’s trenchant biography.
In alphabetical order of authors, I am posting the details every day over twelve days if my best reads in 2012. As ever, the year was one of delightful discoveries and occasional disappointments. Today it’s non-fiction with a couple of connected events as a bonus. Do please comment and offer me your own best reads of the year.
Over the year, I have been on a journey, tracing another man’s footsteps. I finished the journey this morning. Now I have three books on my shelf, each a source of pleasure and satisfaction such that I already plan to retrace my steps from the beginning. I have been walking alongside the First World War poet and one of that destructive conflict’s victims: Edward Thomas. And the reference to walking is deliberate. Thomas walked as much as Wordsworth and worked demotic language into his verse just as effectively.