Monday, May 25, 2015

Once Upon A Time... 14-18 Belgium At War

Someone just lent me this amazing little book--half comic-strip, half history book--that I definitely recommend anyone read (it's only in French though):

Il était une fois 14-18 La Belgique en guerre.

It's the loving work of artist and author David P.who spent countless hours combing through the Army Museum of Brussels and flea markets to find all the amazing pictures strewn throughout the pages. Not only that, but the booklet contains also many testimonials left in books and journals, quotes, notes of reference, and other little tidbits, all while also giving information on the war itself, what lead to it and its consequences, in palatable yet juicy morsels.

Belgium, of course, was supposed to remain neutral during what turned out to be a terrible war that marred everyone's psyche. But even so, Belgium was such a small country, known for being a "friendly nation unlikely to harbor great sentimental impulses, inhabited by patient and obstinate workers, skilled artisans, robust farmers, and enterprising bourgeois all comfortably asleep on their pillow of obligatory and guaranteed neutrality while finding any warlike fracas repugnant," that no one, not even its own citizens, expected it to rise so heroically and determinedly against the invaders.

Again, this is a must-read for anyone interested in history, and that of the First World War in particular! (And, of course, for those willing to read it in French...) The book can be found on the editor's website here.

Quote taken (and translated from French) from the Preface of the book written by Professor Francis Balace, University of Liège.

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