Enjoying the Blast From the Past

Enjoying the Blast From the Past

Posted on January 9 by admin
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Today’s blog post is written by our new intern Devon.

Isn’t it lovely when our favourite television shows are as informative and educational as they are entertaining? You might be familiar with the series Downton Abbey (we might have mentioned it a few times), the British period drama set in the early twentieth century, and a television show that truly embodies all of these qualities. In addition to bragging about which characters we’re most similar to (see the link to the quiz Caitlyn so thoughtfully posted), here at Dundurn we also take a lot of pride in our extensive list of historical fiction and non-fiction titles. Canada’s history is rich, and here are a couple of books that prove it:

Second to None: The Fighting 58th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Forces. One of only fifty infantry battalions to see action with the Canadian Expeditionary Force during World War I, the 58th nevertheless had no official history. Second to None tells the story of this important, yet forgotten, battalion. The soldiers who formed the 58th exemplified the ideal citizen soldiers and later evolved into the tough, battle-savvy veterans who destroyed the cream of the German Imperial Army and won battle honours. The author uses the men’s letters and diaries and family oral histories to amplify the terse account of the 58th’s war diary, bringing to life once more the men who paid the price for freedom.

Three to a Loaf: A Novel of the Great War. Three to a Loaf is the First World War story of Rory Ferrall, a young Canadian officer of Anglo-German descent who, after being wounded and disfigured at Ypres, comes to the attention of British military intelligence. Ferrall’s German background is valuable to the war’s planners. Hundreds of German-Americans had returned to the Fatherland to fight for the Kaiser at the outbreak of war in August 1914 and the British captured one. Cleverly trained to impersonate the captured German-American officer, Ferrall is smuggled into wartime Germany to infiltrate the German General Staff and discover their top-secret plan to break the stalemate on the Western Front.

If you’re already interested in WWI, you’ll love these books. If you could stand to know a bit more, then read these. Pair these with Downton Abbey and you’ll be a history buff in no time!