Home > Uncategorized > Hugh Walpole: War both protracts and strangles youth

Hugh Walpole: War both protracts and strangles youth

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Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

British writers on peace and war

Hugh Walpole: Selections on war

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Hugh Walpole
From The Young Enchanted

It has been asserted again and again that the Great War of 1914 turned many thousands of boys into old men long before their time. The exact contrary may also be proved to be true – namely that the War caught many boys in their teens, held them in a sort of vise for five years, keeping them from life as it is usually lived, teaching them nothing but war and then suddenly flinging them out into a Peace about which they were as ignorant as blind puppies. Boys of eighteen chronologically supposed to be twenty-four and superficially disguised as men of forty and disillusioned cynical men at that, those were to be found in their thousands in that curious tangled year of 1920. Henry thought he was a man; he was much less a man than he would have been had no war broken out at all.

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