I’ve had this quote on a virtual sticky note on my MacBook for several months and I want to tidy it away. It’s taken from a piece in the London Review of Books several years back on Pat Barker’s Regeneration trilogy and it helps explain the attraction of war to novelists.
In wartime, those social and moral and imaginative securities which might usually seem like fixtures are all overturned.
Add this to a world already teetering on the brink of unprecedented change disruption and revolution – poised on the cusp between the Victorian and modern ages – and one starts to get a sense of the restless excitement of the era. Manna to a writer of historical fiction, indeed.