Jo Scanlan

Janet Butler sets up the story of Australian World War I army nurse Catherine (Kit) McNaughton with a strong and vivid opening chapter. At a hospital base in the north of France, Kit sits in her freezing hut scribbling in her diary, her mind far away with her audience back home. She is about to go on duty. A short time later when she lifts the canvas flap of the hospital tent, she enters another world. It is an understated but startling transition.

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So many Australian scholars and writers stand tall alongside C.E.W. Bean that you have to wonder: is there much more that can be said about World War I? Well, no. And yes. Almost one hundred years on, writers such as battlefield historian Will Davies continue to seek illumination through unfamiliar characters and fresh angles. Such is his intention in his latest book, The Boy Colonel ...

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