The Great War of 1914-18 was not the ‘War to End All Wars’ that so many hoped it would be. It was a cataclysmic event that changed the world forever and set the twentieth century on a pathway to both disaster and radical social change. The momentous conflict scarred the lives of those who survived just as the trenches scarred the battered landscapes of Belgium, Gallipoli and France. A Time Since Passed chronicles the enduring love of two people torn apart by the horrors and hardships of the First World War. It is a fast-moving novel of mateship, loyalty and sacrifice. Just like Sebastian Faulks’ novel Birdsong and Erich Maria Remarque’s classic anti-war story All Quiet on the Western Front, the themes of A Time Since Passed are poignant and universal. While the novel’s protagonist is an Englishman fighting in the trenches of northern France, the story would be just as relevant if the ‘hero’ of the story was an Australian at Gallipoli or a German fighting in the bitter snow of the Eastern Front. The main theme of the story is change. The world of 1916 was one in which men walked into machine-gun fire, resulting in 60,000 casualties in a single day. In the modern world, where the loss of one soldier makes the news, these numbers are almost unbelievable. While the message of the novel is timeless, it is difficult for us to comprehend loss on such a massive scale. The world of a hundred years ago is indeed a time since passed.
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