Reports From The First World War: Nowadays, Tales of War and Unhappy Far-Off Things

Reports From The First World War: Nowadays, Tales of War and Unhappy Far-Off Things

Written by:
Lord Dunsany
Narrated by:
Charles Featherstone
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Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
October 2023
4 hours 16 minutes
Includes the collections Nowadays, Tales of War, & Unhappy Far-Off Things 

The great fantasy writer Lord Dunsany wrote very little in the way of fantasy after the onset of the First World War. This was partly because he was busy, having volunteered in 1915 and becoming a Captain in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers in Derry. However, the reality of the world bore in on our hero at this time, and it is not difficult to imagine that his heart moved to more serious concerns.

Dunsany’s days of high fantasy, it seems, ended with the emergence of civil unrest in his nation. This is why the non-fiction section is included at the end of this collection; while he wrote the odd fantasy work in later years, they were written by a distinctly different man, with a very different life. 

For a week, he lay in a hospital bed, listening to the sounds of the riots as the British forces became increasingly violent and shelled the centre of Dublin with artillery. His military belt was left in the hospital, and eventually buried with the Nationalist leader Michael Collins.

This, it seems, was the trigger for his change of heart, as expressed in ‘Nowadays’, towards poetry as the essence of writing. “In January 1917, under the stimulant of shellfire, I turned to poetry and wrote two poems in Plug-Street Wood”.

After initially being refused forward positioning, he eventually served in the trenches. In this time, his literary output was focused on writing propaganda material for the War Office, some of which is collected in the non-fiction section of this volume.
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