Another World, 1897-1917 (Magill's Literary Annual 1978)
Before his death in January, 1977, Anthony Eden composed a charming memoir of his earliest years and joined to it a sober rendition of his experiences as a young officer in World War I. The result, published posthumously as Another World: 1897-1917, offers an intimate glance at both the personal life of one of England’s leading twentieth century politicians and an aristocratic way of life which is now as far in the past as the Ancien Régime of France. Eden’s description of that life reminds one so much of Talleyrand’s observation on eighteenth century France that it could be paraphrased to read, “No one who was not a member of the English upper class in pre-1914 Britain knows how sweet life can be.” It was the catastrophe of World War I, along with more prosaic economic changes, which destroyed this world, and Eden is an example of how one of its most illustrious members faced the destruction of his civilization.
It is rare for a world leader to write with the tenderness and insight about his childhood which Eden does. When it happens, it is revealing about both the man and his country. In Eden’s case it unveils a sense of humor, modesty, enthusiasm, innocence, discipline, and generosity. In fact, he comes across as an extremely sympathetic person. Those with an inclination to view life cynically might regard him as a bit of a do-gooder, while his stiff upper lip in the face of enormous personal and national loss appears...
(The entire section is 1858 words.)
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 1978)
Booklist. LXXIV, November 1, 1977, p. 456.
Kirkus Reviews. XLV, September 15, 1977, p. 1021.
Library Journal. CII, November 15, 1977, p. 2337.
New Republic. CLXXVII, December 17, 1977, p. 28.
New York Times Book Review. November 27, 1977, p. 18.
Publisher’s Weekly. CXII, October 3, 1977, p. 87.
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