This year all the remembrances of the beginning of hostilities between the major players in the First World War are honouring 100 years of recollections. In the books published linked to the history of Gallipoli, the mindless slaughter of soldiers on both sides of the conflict is recalled in all its horror, and the lack of insight of the leaders’ decisions is recounted without holding back.
Glory follows this vein, linking three characters of fiction with some of the players from history who orchestrated the various initiatives of the invasion in this fateful campaign. The fourth main character, Sylvia, is linked with these three soldiers at different points in the story, where love and the stability of each character are challenged to their limits. Over the course of the campaign, our heroes change radically, influenced by their experiences, as indeed happened across society during this period of history.
Rachel Billington describes the most appalling scenes of destruction and pure gore during the battles for small areas of seemingly worthless Turkish land and the impact on the invading forces, which never stood a chance of succeeding under the circumstances. The narrative flows well through the months of fighting and the subsequent period until the culmination of a peacetime visit to the Dardanelles, which continues to give us a realistic view of how the land would have recovered in the intervening period.