Book of the day: 20th February 2020
Wars and Words – Military History, Adventurer & Explorer Biographies, Military History of the United States
I never met my great-uncle, George Clarke Musgrave. Born in 1874, he answered the Reaper’s call in 1932 and now lies at rest with his parents at Swanage in the beautiful countryside of Dorset. I did not know him but, for more than a decade now, I have lived with him, walked with him and dreamed with him. But now he is gone and his going has left us with the sad reality that he can no longer recount his life and times to you in person. That task has slipped several branches down the family tree to me and it is with some trepidation, and a keen desire to keep true to his memory, that I have dedicated myself to channelling for you the stories of this fascinating, multi-faceted, complex character.
George Clarke Musgrave’s time in this world carried him through the great challenges and changes of the reigns of Victoria, Edward VII and George V. For his own character, though, he always felt himself more closely aligned with the reformers, the heroes, the visionaries and the Empire builders of the 19th century, than with the dour and stifling traditionalists of the 20th. Following service in the British Army, brought to a premature end by injury and subsequent medical discharge, George Clarke became a war correspondent and journalist, seeing action with both British and American forces in a number of conflicts across the world. His articles from these conflicts were published in many national and international journals including: the Illustrated London News, the London Chronicle, the Daily Mail, Strand Magazine, Black and White Review and the New York Times. He also wrote a number of books which were readily published and well received by audiences on both sides of the Atlantic.
His books are now out of print and first editions are rare and expensive. But his words should be read and, in seeking to bring his library back to life, my intent in these pages is twofold: Firstly, to present for you authentic adaptations of our author’s original works, written with a particular focus on preserving the action, the excitement, the drama and the emotion of his original narrative and, secondly, to knit together the diverse and tangled threads of his career which spanned some twenty-five years in which he grew from a raw but determined twenty-one-year-old neophyte of the media circus to a seasoned, brilliantly analytical and highly respected observer of war.
So, share with us the raw brutality, the traumas and the evils of war tempered with an undying admiration for the men and women who have lived and loved, suffered and triumphed in its fighting. Discover in these writings my attempts to chronicle the joys, the tears, the pleasures, the pain and the blessings of a life that George Clarke Musgrave always tried to live well.