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Kill Devil Hills, NC, United States
Trying to connect my present with the past in order to fly through the future.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Battle of the Marne by Mildred Aldrich

The WWI Battle of the Marne began on this day in 1914. French soldiers protecting Paris from the German army. The battle involved more than 2 million men fighting for their causes over the six day battle. It is reported that Paris residents could drive to the fighting and back on a tank of gas.

One view of the First Battle of the Marne was of American journalist Mildred Aldrich who had moved to France in 1898 as a translator and correspondent.  In the summer of 1914, Aldrich moved to Huiry to a house that overlooked the lovely Marne River Valley. Mildred Aldrich began a series of letters to her friends and family in the United States including her views of the beginning of WWI at The First Battle of the Marne, which occurred a few months after her relocation to Huiry.  In 1915, she would compile these letters into her first book, A Hilltop on the Marne. The book sold so well, she ‘wrote’ three other “letter”works.

This particular book combines my interest in old books with my early interest in reading the diaries of other people. In order to discover the basis of this book, I read the first page, and even though there is a war background to some of the letters, which is not my favorite genre, the descriptive writing of an American placing roots in the romantic French countryside may pull me into the rest of the book. Mildred Aldrich has a way with words.

Mildred Aldrich also wrote a novel (or a string of short stories) called Told in a French Garden. This also looks like a fun read that I understand is a free e-book download. It sounds a bit like The Big Chill (1914).

Explore the past, you may find the present.

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