Page 52 - PB Cat 1999-2021
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This wartime printed rayon, designed by Arnold Lever for Jacqmar in c.1941, is called ‘Happy Landings’.
The hero of Operation Heartbreak (1950) is called Willie Maryngton; the central tragedy of his life is that he is
too young to fight in the First World War and too old for the Second.
Willie ‘knew perfectly well that when a regiment went abroad on active service some officers and men were left
behind. But he had never thought that he would be among those officers.The Colonel had talked about the first scrap, but that was just the scrap he wanted to be in. He had said something about heavy casualties.Willie minded little how heavy they were if he was in it, but how
Operation Heartbreak
could he bear to sit at home, hoping that his brother officers would be killed so that he could take their place?’ But Willie does in the end play a vital part in the Allies eventual victory, and it is the knowledge that this book is based on a true wartime incident that is in part why it is so moving.‘A story of why men go to war,’ comments Nina Bawden,‘it is also a heart-wrenching love story; a wonderful novel by a masterly writer that should be on everyone’s bookshelf.’ And Emma Smith writes,‘I remember weeping copiously over Operation Heartbreak when I first read it – it is a deeply-moving book, beautifully written.’
 West House, Bognor, early 1940s, taken from Trumpets from the Steep by Lady Diana Cooper (1960) © Viscount Norwich
168pp PERSEPHONE BOOKS ISBN 9781903155417

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