Thursday, 27 August 2015

THE ORDEAL OF IVOR GURNEY – Michael Hurd, 1978

Apparently, the world is still waiting for a definitive biography of Ivor Gurney. I fell that this is a bit of a slap in the face for Hurd as the world lapped up this particular volume when it was released.
It is an interesting account which sets the scene, details his influences and provides a basic discussion of his poems and music.

It challenges the myth that Gurney was sane until gassed near Ypres, showing that he was an eccentric and troubled soul long before he saw action in France. There can be no doubt, however, that his experience of life in the trenches was a contributory factor to the mental illness which robbed him of his freedom and eventually killed him.

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