Her Privates We
"The finest and noblest book of men and war that I have ever read."—Ernest Hemingway
"I am sure it is the book of books so far as the British Army is concerned."—Lawrence of Arabia
"A unique and extraordinary novel"—William Boyd
First published privately in 1929 as The Middle Parts of Fortune, Her Privates We is the novel of the Battle of the Somme told from the perspective of Bourne, an ordinary private. A raw and shockingly honest portrait of men engaged in war, "that peculiarly human activity," the original edition was subject to "prunings and excisions" because the bluntness of language was thought to make the book unfit for public distribution. This edition restores them.
An undisputed classic of war writing and a lasting tribute to all who participated in the war, Her Privates We was originally published as written by "Private 19022." Championed by, amongst others, Ernest Hemingway, Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, and T. E. Lawrence, it has become recognized as a classic in the seventy years since its first publication. Now republished, it will again amaze a new generation of readers with its depiction of the horror, the ordinariness, and the humanity of war.
Frederic Manning enlisted in 1915 in the Shropshire Light Infantry and went to France in 1916 as "Private 19022." The Shropshires saw heavy fighting on the Somme and Manning's four months there provided the background to Her Privates We. He died in 1935.