The University of North Georgia Press is releasing a new edition of The Secret Battle by A. P. Herbert, edited with annotations by Dr. Austin Riede on May 28, 2018.
Originally published in 1919, The Secret Battle honestly portrays the mental horrors World War I inflicted upon soldiers. The tale follows Harry Penrose, an Oxford student who enlists in 1914. Penrose is a hard worker, modest and dutiful, but he struggles to cope with the toll of war. During the Battle of Gallipoli, he seeks refuge to avoid shellfire, but another office sees him and accuses Penrose of deserting his post. Court martialed and branded a coward, Penrose is betrayed by the very system for which he fought.
Though not autobiographical, Penrose and the narrator follow experiences of 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).
We look forward to publishing The Secret Battle, out 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