Great-Uncle Harry

Great-Uncle Harry: A Tale of War and Empire

History , General History , Military History , Military Theory , First World War
Hardback Published on: 28/09/2023
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Some years ago a stash of family records was handed down to Michael Palin, among which were photos of an enigmatic young man in army uniform, as well as photos of the same young man as a teenager looking uncomfortable at family gatherings. This, Michael learnt, was his Great-Uncle Harry, born in 1884, died in 1916. He had previously had no idea that he had a Great-Uncle Harry, much less that his life was cut short at the age of 32 when he was killed in the Battle of the Somme. The discovery both shocked him and made him want to know much more about him. The quest that followed involved hundreds of hours of painstaking detective work. Michael dug out every bit of family gossip and correspondence he could. He studied every relevant official document. He tracked down what remained of his great-uncle Harry's diaries and letters, and pored over photographs of First World War battle scenes to see whether Harry appeared in any of them. He walked the route Harry took on that fatal, final day of his life amid the mud of northern France. And as he did so, a life that had previously existed in the shadows was revealed to him. Great-Uncle Harry is an utterly compelling account of an ordinary man who led an extraordinary life. A blend of biography, history, travelogue and personal memoir this is Michael Palin at his very finest.

  • Publisher: Cornerstone
  • ISBN: 9781529152616
  • Number of pages: 336
  • Weight: 588g
  • Dimensions: 240 x 162 x 32 mm

Customer Reviews

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Great-Uncle Harry
Engrossing, enjoyable and supremely readable
I loved this book. It is as much about Harry Palin, his life, experiences and his part in the war, as about the authors’ search for the history and mo... READ MORE
Canuck Abroad
Great-Uncle Harry
A wonderful piece of writing
I confess straight away I'm a big fan of Michael Palin's writing, and this book was another treat. He is painstaking in his research of his great uncle Ha... READ MORE
Ken Grocott