World War I

It seems to me that World War I is surprisingly present in my thoughts these days,so much so that I’d be interested to read more on the history of the time.  It started when I began watching the second season of “Downton Abbey.” The story opens with both servants and the upper class going off to war.  The Abbey is turned into a convalescent home, and the kitchen participates in a soup kitchen for soldiers who have returned and cannot support themselves.

World War I appeared the second time this month in the book “Fall of Giants,” by Ken Follett.  I’ve enjoyed his historical novels set in earlier centuries, so I thought I might like this story, which opens just prior to the start of the war.  It’s fascinating to read that the war could have easily been averted, but previous treaties funneled Europe and Russia into a conflagration that covered more than Europe.  I’m barely a third of the way into the book, and the war is about to start.  I’m confident that I will learn a lot about the war, and Follett may give me enough information to know what else I might want to read.

The last of the appearances of WW I came when my husband who is recuperating from knee surgery and trying to find something on TV that he can bear to watch, turned on “War Horse.”   It’s an amazing story, parts of which are very difficult to watch.  In one scene, the horse is tangled in concertina wire in the no-man’s land between the English and the Germans.

I wonder why there is so much focus on this period of history right now?

I hope, as I work my way into “retirement” that I will be able to make the time to read more history.  I’m particularly interested in the period from 1750 to WW II.  These fictional histories have whet my appetite for the information I missed when I studied history at school, low those many years ago.