ANOTHER WORLD 1897-1917 by Anthony Eden

ANOTHER WORLD 1897-1917

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KIRKUS REVIEW

It was the world of the Proud Tower, the heyday of Edwardian plenitude in which Anthony Eden, Britain's future Prime Minister, grew up on the family's vast estate in Durham, amidst the certainty that Windlestone, the great house, would be intact forever. The nostalgia here is a bit wizened, but the shadows of that world are vivid enough--its ponies, its greenhouses, its faithful retainers, the panoply of nursemaids and governesses, chief among them the redoubtable ""Doodles."" Eden even recollects going to and from school by train, waving ""Hail to thee. Daddie's property."" It was a world that disappeared abruptly with Sarajevo, and Anthony, at eighteen, found himself a platoon leader in the Yeoman Rifles en route to the Somme, to Ypres, to Messines. . . . At the writing, shortly before his death in January, 1977, the Great War seems the clearest of remembrances. Two of Eden's brothers were killed and eventually he recognized that ""there was no conception at all of what the war would really be like"" while he trained at Aldershot. No conception of the concrete pill boxes, shrapnel, gas, and heavy shelling, of the monotonous but always surprising deaths. In the quiet hours, Eden ponders learning ""a sense of the irrelevance and unreality of class distinctions"" but the politician's career leaves room for doubt. More credible is the admission that he emerged ""with my illusions intact."" Fragmentary but poignant recollections of a world long vanished--Eden in these pages could be any young man of his class and generation.

Pub Date: Nov. 4th, 1977
Publisher: Doubleday