The Englishman's Daughter: A True Story of Love and Betrayal in World War One

The Englishman's Daughter: A True Story of Love and Betrayal in World War One

by Ben Macintyre
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The Englishman's Daughter: A True Story of Love and Betrayal in World War One 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In a novel like Sebastian Faulks outstanding 'Birdsong' the personal horror and romance under the umbrella of war can be explored to maximum effect. The fact that Ben Macintyre's story is true makes it equally special. But in the end less satisfying because the focus of the book is far more than the story of the Englishman's Daughter. In England the book was published under the title 'A Foreign Field' which really is a better title, in that the book explores the whole story of the war and it's effect on the Village of Villeret, France. The story of Helene Digby's conception and the execution of her father Robert Digby the major emotional center of the book. What I found strange is that towards the end of the book Mr. Macintyre tries hard to finger who may have betrayed the Englishman, but I did not seem to care. I somehow thought it was understandable that the whole village did, and the fact that the Englishman, including Robert Digby could not have possibly survived the eventual total destruction of the village underscored the ultimate betrayal. The war itself.
ERobinsonAtlanta More than 1 year ago
After reading, and thoroughly enjoying "Operation Mincemeat," I purchased several other books by Ben MacIntyre--one of them being "The Englishman's Daughter." The author untangles, and then braids the multiple threads of historical information, forensic genealogy and intermingled lives from so long ago--and some how, magnificently brings them back to life. MacIntyre thoughtfully and meticulously weaves one facinating story and inserts enough photos so the reader can look into the archived remnants of this place and time. His use of echoing past wartime poetry into this unique tale allows yet another generation to be in awe of so many stories needing to be re-told, and poets--again, needing to be re-heard. Could not put it down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In 1914, a small cadre of English military was stranded behind enemy lines. The French peasants of Villeret tried to hide the soldiers from the occupying German forces. However, the German army began using the homes of the villagers to quarter their troops and living off the local economy straining the food supply. The villagers refused to turn their English ¿guests¿ over to the Germans and collectively protected them over the next two years. One of the English, Private Robert Digby even fell in love with a local girl. However, by 1916 as sustenance became a problem and the withdrawal of the occupying army seemed like it would never happen, someone broke ranks and turned in Robert and his peers. The Germans executed the English soldiers.

In high school and college World War I is a desert dry footnote starting with Ferdinand, consisting of Wilson, neutrality, and the Lusitania, and ending with the League of Nations. On the other hand, Ben Macintyre takes a relatively minuscule incident from that War and breaths life into it and for that matter any war. THE ENGLISHMAN¿S DAUGHTER focus on that French incident between 1914-1916, but furbishes the audience with the underlying generalization that in war in spite of technology people count. It is the true human drama that makes history hum and enables the audience to understand the past, connects it to the present, and projects it into the future. Mr. Macintyre has written a winner that should be required reading at the military academies and included in any world history class so that we can learn in a lively exciting environment.

Harriet Klausner