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In Memoriam by Alice Winn review – an elegy for young love - - Welcome Press "Enter" to skip to content

In Memoriam by Alice Winn review – an elegy for young love

Two young men journey from the classroom to the trenches in this tale of a forbidden relationship set against the first world war

In March 1915, public schoolboy Sidney Ellwood sends a letter to his close friend Henry Gaunt on the western front: “I am torn between wanting the War to go on so I can join you (‘We few, we happy few, we band of brothers!’), and wanting it to end so you can join the Ardents. Two such thrilling worlds! Aren’t we lucky?”

Needless to say, Ellwood’s perspective on luck soon changes. Alice Winn’s debut novel, named after Tennyson’s elegiac poem, begins as Ellwood and Gaunt, seniors at Preshute College, are between two worlds. On the one hand, the cloistered idyll of school, with its long summer afternoons and jolly Ardents society; on the other, the seemingly great adventure of the first world war, with its many chances to die magnificently for king and country.

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