Launch Info: “The Secret Battle” by A. P. Herbert

Congratulations to Linda Ham for winning The Secret Battle giveaway!

Cover by Corey Parson

Originally published in 1919, The Secret Battle honestly portrays the mental horrors World War I inflicted upon soldiers. Though not autobiographical, character Harry Penrose follows the experiences of author A. P. Herbert, who fought in the Gallipoli Campaign. Penrose’s trial is likely based on that of Sub-Lieutenant Edwin Dyett, an officer who was court martialed and executed for desertion in 1916. Considered a literary masterpiece, The Secret Battle is an early example of war literature, showcasing the importance of a soldier’s mind as well as his body, and deserves “a permanent place in war literature” (Winston Churchill, from the 1988 Oxford University Press edition).

The Secret Battle (978-1-940771-38-0) releases May 28, 2018. It is a 6×9 paperback. Part of the UNG Press’ World War I series, it will make the perfect addition to any historian’s collection. It can be purchased through Ingram, Amazon, and other major retailers for $24.95.

Can’t wait? Check out our other exciting The Secret Battle events. Leave a comment below or visit us at Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more.

• Mar 21 — Cover Reveal
• Apr 4 — Press Release
• Apr 25— “Editing and Annotating The Secret Battle” by Ed. Austin Riede
• May 2 — Editor Interview
• May 2 — Giveaway Begins
• May 9 — Sample Chapter
• May 16 — “Shell Shock in The Secret Battle” by Ed. Austin Riede
• May 23 — Launch Info
• May 28 — Book Release

Intern Spotlight: Brooke Caine

Salutations, fellow lovers of language! My name is Brooke Caine, and I am a senior who will be joining the UNG Press as an intern this summer. Until my junior year of high school, I did not ever see myself in an institution of higher learning, as none of my family members have ever obtained a degree, and my grades were modest at best. However, thanks to the urgings of my mother and some well-selected Advanced Placement courses during my junior and senior year, I am proud to say that I graduated from North Forsyth High School in 2011 with a GPA of 3.2 and a letter of admission to UNG for the following fall semester.

My decision to pursue writing and publication as a major was born largely from the fact that I have been almost unnaturally obsessed with literature since before I could even read or speak properly. One of my mother’s favorite stories: At fifteen months old, I would regularly pull down every book from a shelf that was even larger than myself and babble nonsense in an attempt at ‘reading’. Imagine a small and rather chubby child sitting on a mountain of discarded but nevertheless beloved books with an enormous smile on her face—that is me, albeit slightly larger now and fairly literate by this point.

In addition to my passion for the written word, I am also a lover of languages. During my time at UNG, I have studied Chinese and Russian (the first briefly and the second as a minor) both in the classroom and with native speakers who were generous enough to invite me into their culture and share with me their language, food, and friendship. Naturally, I am always delighted to see works by authors whose countries and customs are different from my own. My favorite English course by far was Immigrant Literature as it gave me an intimate perspective on the struggles and joys of those who come to this country as dreamers and the memories of the lands and people that they left behind.

Ever since I was a child, I have been a firm believer that every story deserves to be told as there is always someone who needs to hear it. To that end, my goal is to work in a publishing company that focuses specifically on the voices that have heretofore been pushed aside or even erased in the flow of history. During the course of my internship, I would like to learn the basics of the industry—proofreading, editing, marketing, design, production—in a work environment that promotes a global and open-minded perspective, both in business practices and the works that we produce for our student body and community.

 

Shell Shock in “The Secret Battle”

We’re honored to have The Secret Battle editor Dr. Austin Riede as a guest author today. Dr. Riede is an English professor at the University of North Georgia.

What drew me most to The Secret Battle is its frank and curious exploration of the phenomenon of shell shock, the particular form of war trauma that developed during the first World War. While all wars generate trauma, shell shock has become a historical (if still inexact) term that signifies the individual trauma of soldiers and nurses in the war, as well as the larger cultural trauma of the war.

While The Secret Battle is not the first novel to explore the issue of shell shock, I think it is the first to do so from the point of view of a sympathetic, but somewhat detached, narrator. The unnamed narrator, like Herbert himself, has seen and experienced the war firsthand. The narrator who tells the story of Harry Penrose is clearly interested in his friend, but he is also confused about what has happened to him, and the question of why this happened to Harry and not to him—or to any other soldier who may have found himself in the same position.

Among the myriad characters in British literature suffering shell shock, Harry Penroses’s case is perhaps the most subtle and understated. In Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, Septimus Smith suffers rather ostentatiously and schizophrenically. In her novel Return of the Soldier, Rebecca West’s Chris Baldry suffers from easily identifiable (and clearly allegorical) amnesia, like Ford Madox Ford’s Christopher Tietjens from his Parade’s End tetralogy,. Later depictions of shell shocked soldiers, the fictional Billy Prior and the fictionalized Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon in Pat Barker’s Man Booker prize winning Regeneration trilogy, are similarly overtly traumatized. All of these are excellent explorations of what shell shock meant for British literature and culture, and Harry Penrose deserves to take a place among them. His shell shock is less easy to identify. The symptoms are subtle and the situation is non-allegorical. Although Harry Penrose’s story is unique, what is so striking, both to the narrator and to the reader, is how easily it could have happened to anybody. Among the literary depictions of shell shock, Harry Penrose—no artistic or mathematical genius, no paragon of manhood—is the most typical and in many ways, the most tragically and unnecessarily doomed.

The Secret Battle releases May 28, 2018. While you wait, don’t miss out on our other exciting The Secret Battle events:

• Mar 21 — Cover Reveal
• Apr 4 — Press Release
• Apr 25— “Editing and Annotating The Secret Battle” by Ed. Austin Riede
• May 2 — Editor Interview
• May 2 — Giveaway Begins
• May 9 — Sample Chapter
• May 16 — “Shell Shock in The Secret Battle” by Ed. Austin Riede
• May 23 — Launch Info
• May 28 — Book Release

As I Say Goodbye

As the year comes to a close along with my journey with the UNG Press, I can’t help but reminisce and get nostalgic about when I first started. Yeah, it may have just been fall of last year that I began this journey, but I can still feel nostalgic and sappy. I just have a lot of feelings. Let’s reminisce together, shall we?

I remember walking up the stairs on my first day, wiping sweaty palms on my jeans for the umpteenth time. To say I was nervous is an understatement. I held my breath as I knocked open the door as entered the room where I would be working for the next few months. All my nerves, however, disappeared within the first few minutes of entering the room, thank to Ms. Jillian Murphy. She immediately made me feel welcomed and established a welcoming aura. She encouraged me to always ask questions about anything I didn’t understand and would help me with any issues I encountered. She definitely made the working environment a stress-free space. It motivated me to do my best on each assignment and not be afraid to ask questions or for help whenever needed.

The assignments I was assigned throughout my journey were challenging, but they were also very rewarding. Every assignment taught me a different process of getting a post approved and published so the public could see it. The experience I have gained from my time at the UNG Press has increased my (at-the-time very little) knowledge on the different processes that have to applied to every post. It has made me appreciate the Press’ hard work even more.

As my final days approach (with the Press, that is), I can only say this to all my co-workers and bosses: Thank you. You’ve made my work experience memorable and have helped me grow and mature. I am sad because this is a time of goodbyes, but I am also happy to see the UNG Press grow and flourish with new workers. I know great things are to come with this Press, and I can’t wait to watch and read them.

A Reflection on My Time at the Press

I’ve always wanted to have a career with an English studies focus. Well, other than when I was four-years-old and told anyone who would listen that I wanted to be a ladybug when I grew up. Dreams change from four to twenty-two, that’s for sure. I’ve grown up and I’m looking for ways to have a successful career in the publishing industry. The UNG Press helped me start my journey.

In June of 2016, I came to UNG for a transfer student orientation, where I walked around campus and talked to a faculty advisor from the English department about my career goals. That was the first time I heard about the UNG Press. I’d only received a little information, but I knew I wanted to be a Press intern before I graduated. I would gain valuable insight and experience. I’d get to be in an actual publishing house around other editors. So when I applied for and received the internship position, I achieved a personal goal I’d been thinking about since 2016.

My internship with the Press has been everything I hoped it would be and more. Initially, I was so focused on being a copy editor that I dismissed other industry opportunities that were right in front of me. Working at the Press showed me those opportunities.

My internship focused on creating content for the Press’ social media platforms. I conducted extensive research about publishing and marketing and used the research to create entertaining and professional blog posts. These assignments taught me the importance of writing for a specific audience and writing concisely and comprehensively. Immersing myself in these new parts of the industry and seeing the hard work that is essential to the success of the Press has provided me with the knowledge, experience, and appreciation that I will need when I begin my career.

My internship has shaped me into a better writer and a more compassionate and experienced soon-to-be college graduate. As I’m looking for jobs that allow me to expand on the knowledge and tools I’ve gained this semester, I’ll be thanking everyone at the Press every step of the way.

I am one step closer to having the career that I want because of my experience at the Press.

Thanks For the Memories!

During my time at UNG Press, I have been able to explore the world outside the classroom. Working here has given me the ability to become a developed marketer and figure out what I want my future to look like. This opportunity has given me the chance to learn more about the Press industry, hone my skills, and work in a busy office full of kind people.

This office let me have many experiences that I was not be able to have in the classroom. Here, I was able to use my skills that I have acquired throughout the years. Whether that be through creating a birthday post or developing a proposal for future projects, I was given the opportunity to be creative and diversify my portfolio. This has helped me to understand the process of developing an idea, refining it, and executing it.

UNG Press has really opened my eyes to the publishing industry. I have poured over articles about different kinds of editing, the process of publishing a book, and what the future of the publishing industry may look like. I never really put a lot of thought into what it takes to publish a book. All I knew was that I could go down to my local bookstore and purchase the title I was looking for. This position has really given me a newfound appreciation for the behind the scenes work that goes into getting a book onto the shelves.

The Press office has been a wonderful learning environment. Every time that I struggled with an assignment, I knew that this staff was available to help me complete any tasks given to me. My supervisor, Jillian, was especially helpful throughout my time here. I want to thank her for all the time that she put into helping me create and edit my work to make it better.

Working here for two semesters has been a wonderful experience. I have learned a lot about myself and the publishing industry. This position has opened my eyes to the possibilities for my future and for what it may have in store. Everyone that goes into this position should know that this office is a good one. Thank you for making my last year at UNG a fun and creative one.

Editing and Annotating “The Secret Battle”

We’re honored to have The Secret Battle editor Dr. Austin Riede as a guest author today. Dr. Riede is an English professor at the University of North Georgia.

Working on The Secret Battle was the first time I edited an historical text. My approach to editing the text was to try and preserve the novel’s text in its original form, so I made up my mind to preserve the British spellings, and only try to change errors. I soon found that the text had gone through many small changes in subsequent editions since 1919, and in almost all cases, I chose the original spelling or phrase.

I approached the novel by keeping in mind that its potential audience is broad. When reading an annotated novel, I’ve always found it annoying when some name or reference which I am unfamiliar with is not explained in a note. This is most likely to occur when reading a novel or text on an unfamiliar topic from an unfamiliar period or region. While the World War I literature and history buff may be familiar with a broad range of geographical and cultural references in the text, I chose to annotate with the first-year university student—born in this millennium rather than the last—in mind.

That said, the novel challenged my own knowledge on the War. While it was easy to explain things like the location of the Dardanelles, or where in London the Haymarket is, I soon found that Herbert was treating his topic with the immediacy and familiarity of someone who had just lived through the war. He was writing to an audience for whom the geography and the battles of the war would have been intimately familiar from newspaper accounts, as well as from accounts of the hundreds of thousands of soldiers revolving in and out of the England on leave, or returned permanently due to injury. The painful details of the failed invasion of the Dardanelles would have been fresh in the minds of Herbert’s intended audience. They would have read accounts in the paper of soldiers staying on the Island of Mudros, and would have had a clearer picture of the cliffs of Cape Helles in the Dardanelles, or of Vimy Ridge in France. I tried to be as inclusive as possible in the notes, so as to give the 21st century reader a clear picture of where exactly the characters are and what they are experiencing.

Editing and annotating The Secret Battle was a wonderful experience, and hopefully my work will help bring the novel to a new generation of readers.

The Secret Battle releases May 28, 2018. While you wait, don’t miss out on our other exciting The Secret Battle events:

• Mar 21 — Cover Reveal
• Apr 4 — Press Release
• Apr 25— “Editing and Annotating The Secret Battle” by Ed. Austin Riede
• May 2 — Editor Interview
• May 2 — Giveaway Begins
• May 9 — Sample Chapter
• May 16 — “Shell Shock in The Secret Battle” by Ed. Austin Riede
• May 23 — Launch Info
• May 28 — Book Release