Silent in an Evil Time: The Brave War of Edith Cavell

Silent in an Evil Time: The Brave War of Edith Cavell

by Jack Batten
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Dutiful nurse, hospital matron, courageous resistance fighter, Edith Cavell was all of these. A British citizen, the forty-eight-year-old Cavell was matron of an institute for nurses in the suburbs of Brussels at the outbreak of World War I. Dedicated to the methods of Florence Nightingale, her intelligence and ferocious sense of duty had transformed the institute

Overview

Dutiful nurse, hospital matron, courageous resistance fighter, Edith Cavell was all of these. A British citizen, the forty-eight-year-old Cavell was matron of an institute for nurses in the suburbs of Brussels at the outbreak of World War I. Dedicated to the methods of Florence Nightingale, her intelligence and ferocious sense of duty had transformed the institute into a leading training center.

When the Germans captured Belgium in the fall of 1914, an organization was formed to assist British and French soldiers trapped behind German lines. Edith was asked to help and she didn’t hesitate. From that moment forward, Edith sheltered escaping soldiers in her hospital, using trickery to keep the suspicious Germans from discovering them. She helped arrange a secret route to neutral Holland and back to England at great personal risk, enabling soldiers of all ranks to slip through German lines. Using the institute as part of an elaborate Allied escape route, Edith Cavell was responsible for one thousand soldiers eventually making their way home.

But Cavell’s role was discovered and a German military court put her on trial in Brussels, where she was sentenced to be executed by firing squad. On October 12, 1915, she put on her nurse’s uniform and met her fate, immediately becoming a worldwide martyr and rallying point for the British in their war against Germany.

In this riveting account, author Jack Batten brings an incredibly brave woman and her turbulent times to life.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
The battles and heroes of World War II oftentimes overshadow the battles and heroes of World War I, but the events of World War I were just as harrowing as anything that came after. Edith Cavell only intended to offer her skills as a nurse to people in need of medical attention, whether they were soldiers from Germany or the Allied forces, but when Allied soldiers arrived at her hospital after traveling through an elaborate escape network, Cavell could do nothing but assist in their escape from German territory. Cavell participated in the network for many years, and it is estimated that she helped several hundred allied soldiers escape from German occupied Belgium, but when the rest of the network was discovered, Cavell was arrested as well. She was found guilty along with the rest of the network and was one of only a handful of individuals sentenced to death. Executed only days after her sentencing, her death shocked the rest of the world and created a backlash of feeling against the Germans that shocked them into altering the sentences of most of the rest of those found guilty of participating in the escape network. A more than adequate look at Edith Cavell’s life, this brief biography also offers an intriguing look at early nursing practices as well as a fascinating glimpse into a seldom seen aspect of World War I. Reviewer: Danielle Williams
School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up This exceptional biography reads like an adventure novel. Born in 1865, in Swardeston, England, Cavell worked as a governess before she decided to become a nurse. After her training, she accepted an offer from a Belgian surgeon to start a nursing-training clinic in Brussels in order to raise the standard of care there. When World War I broke out, the city was occupied by the Germans, but Cavell sheltered numerous British and French soldiers in the clinic. When the Germans discovered her activities, they put her on trial and executed her. The woman's life is laid out logically and succinctly in this revealing work. The author does not glorify her; he shows her as a real person and not just as a mythologized heroine. The historical facts are well explained and Cavell is placed clearly in context. Her legacy is portrayed objectively and her impact is well documented. The few black-and-white photographs, while informative, are very dark and contribute to an overall gray and lackluster book design. This is the only flaw in an otherwise fine effort.-Kristen Oravec, Stephen S. Wise Elementary School, Los Angeles

Kirkus Reviews
Edith Cavell's story ought to be better known. A British nurse in a Brussels clinic, she was training other nurses when World War I broke out. When the Germans occupied Belgium, and many British and French soldiers got caught behind the lines, Cavell used the clinic as a shelter for the soldiers before helping them to escape. Caught, tried and sentenced to die before a firing squad, Cavell's execution angered the world. Enlistments into the British Expeditionary Force soared and, later, streets and even mountaintops were named after her. Few biographies of Cavell have been written for young readers, so this fills a gap, though the writing is often clunky, sounding more like a school report than a literary biography. A chapter on Florence Nightingale interrupts the story and seems odd in this biography. Though few sources on Cavell are available, the bibliography might have provided sources on WWI. Add this to the growing body of wartime resistance stories to inform and inspire young readers. (Nonfiction. 10+)
From the Publisher
Praise for The Story of Tom Longboat:

“… Fast-paced, deeply researched and fresh … vividly readable … brilliantly done!”
— Norma Fleck Jury

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781770490055
Publisher:
Tundra
Publication date:
05/08/2009
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
3 MB
Age Range:
10 Years

Meet the Author

Jack Batten is a well-known author, journalist, reviewer, and radio personality. He has written over thirty books on subjects that include biography, crime fiction, law and court cases, and sports. Jack Batten’s first career was as a lawyer. After four years, he turned to writing. He has been a staff writer at Maclean’s Magazine and the Star Weekly. Batten has written for many magazines, including Chatelaine, Rolling Stone, and Toronto Life. He has written radio plays for the CBC and a jazz column for The Globe and Mail. Nowadays, Jack Batten writes books and reviews crime novels for The Sunday Star. The Man Who Ran Faster Than Everyone is Jack’s most recent book, for which he was nominated for the Norma Fleck Award for nonfiction, the biggest prize in Canadian Children’s literature.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >