RETURN TO THE WOOD by James Lansdale Hodson


Email this review


James Lansdale Hodson who wrote a best-seller after World War I (and more recently-Morning Star- Simon & Schuster- 1952) goes back along with his central character to 1914 as William Hargeaves, a solicitor, makes his ""return to the wood""- High Wood on the Somme- after 38 years have passed. In so doing, he is able to make a reconnaissance of this whole era between wars and particularly of the shifting attitudes from the fervent pacifism which followed the first world war to the acceptance of war as a necessary evil of our time. The events of Hargreaves' life flak off into scattered incidents:- the death of his first wife from whom he had withdrawn; his love affair with and later marriage to Kate, an inflexible idealist- and later the break with her when isolationism fails- and militarism is the only answer against Hitler- a break made final when his only son Rob, at first a conscientious objector, enlists and dies... Hargreaves, a rather wistful victim of the ideas which were to become increasingly costly in terms of his personal happiness, does not animate the conflict here- and if the issue too seems faded- certainly a few snatches from Rupert Brooke and Siegfried Sassoon will do little to freshen it up for modern tastes.

Pub Date: Sept. 13th, 1955
Publisher: Morrow