Blunden, Undertones of War and De Bello Germanico

  • Jerry PalmerEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Life Writing book series (PSLW)


An analysis of Edmund Blunden, Undertones of War and the early partial draft belatedly published under the title De Bello Germanico. It considers the relationship between memory and retrospection in his text, as well as distinctive stylistic features, especially elaborate metaphor and irony. It considers his attitude towards the war, which was both critical and stoical while never rejecting its purpose; indeed, his conscientiousness as an officer is clear. It considers the extensive critical response to his text, which was universally favourable, singling out its authenticity; one of the main elements in the praise was his sense of proportion about the grimness of war.


Partial Draft Passchendaele Horror Elements Leeds Intelligencer Leeds Mercury 
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Primary Sources: The Memoir Texts

  1. Blunden, E. 1928. Undertones of War. London: Cobden-Sanderson. Republished Oxford University Press, 1956 and Collins, 1965 and 1978. Pagination cited in the Penguin (2000) edition.Google Scholar
  2. Blunden, E. 1930. De Bello Germanico. Private edition, A. Blunden.Google Scholar

Secondary Works Cited

  1. Blunden, E. 1929. A Postscript. In The Legion Book, ed. Minchin, 134–44. London: Cassell.Google Scholar
  2. Falls, C. 1930. War Books. London: P. Davies. Pagination from Greenhill Books, 1989.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LondonUK

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