John Abell, a British artist, selected excerpts from Arthur Graeme West’s The Diary of a Dead Officer (published posthumously in 1919), and created powerful linocuts to go with them. The new edition, printed letterpress by The Old Stile Press, was issued this year in an edition of 150 copies.
West managed to enlist in 1915, but was horrified by the war in the trenches and even more by the officer training he had back in Britain in 1916. Increasingly inclining to pacifism, he nonetheless returned to the trenches and was killed by a sniper in 1917. The book, edited by an old school friend, included parts of his diary and his poems, including God, How I Hate You, You Young Cheerful Men.
Thus the volume, added to our Book Arts Collection, dovetails also with our large holdings of World War I poetry. Click on this link to the online catalog to put it in your Special Collections Research Account.
In other WWI news, on view in the exhibition gallery this summer has been a selection of about 40 WWI posters from the Frankenhuis Collection. More on the exhibition, “The European Home Front in WWI: Posters from the Frankenhuis Collection” here. Come quick! closes September 12.