Something Marvellous to Tell
The generation that survived two world wars seemed to like nothing better than to go on reading about them. Well into the 1950s bookshops in the UK awarded pride of place to covers featuring grown-ups in cap and uniform superimposed on scenes of exploding ordnance and diving aircraft. In non-fiction as in fiction ‘War’ dominated the High Street; part-works, comics, board games and films catered to the same taste. Then around 1958, possibly in reaction to the Suez débâcle, ‘War’ began beating a retreat. ‘History’, ‘Travel’ and ‘Biography’ were encroaching. Within a decade the uniforms and the bombs had been banished to subterranean stacks now entitled ‘Military’.