Orson Scott Card offers a Christmas gift to his millions of fans with this short novel set during Ender's first years at the Battle School where it is forbidden to celebrate religious holidays.
I was in Paris the day the French Army was mobilized. In 1914, while visiting her friend Madeleine, Lady Elspeth Douglas' life is thrown into chaos when war breaks out and the Germans quickly overrun Belgium, threatening France. Having just agreed to marry Alain, Madeleine's dashing brother, Lady Elspeth watches him leave to join his unit, and then she sets out for England, only to find herself trapped on the French coast. Caught amid a sea of stranded travelers, terrified refugees, and wounded men overflowing the port of Calais, the restless Elspeth - daughter of a Highland aristocrat whose distinguished family can trace its roots back to the court of Mary, Queen of Scots - decides to make herself useful, carrying water to weary soldiers near the Front. It is an act of charity that almost gets her killed when enemy shells begin to explode around her. To her rescue comes Captain Peter Gilchrist, who pulls her away from the battle and leads her to safety. But before they can properly say good-bye, Elspeth and Peter are separated. Back in London, surrounded by familiar comforts, Elspeth is haunted by the horrors she witnessed in France. She also cannot forget the gallant Peter Gilchrist, even though she has promised herself to Alain. Transformed by her experience, Elspeth goes to London and enrolls in a nursing course, where she meets a fellow nurse in training, Bess Crawford. It is a daring move, made without the consent of Elspeth's guardian, her cousin Kenneth, a high-handed man with rigid notions of class and femininity. Yet Elspeth Douglas is a woman with a mind of her own, which-as she herself says-is a blessing and a curse. She is determined to return to the battlefields of France to do her part ...and to find the man she has no right to love, no matter how far Cousin Kenneth may go to stop her. But before she can set things right with Alain, he goes missing and then Peter is gravely wounded. In a world full of terror and uncertainty, can the sweetness of love survive or will Elspeth's troubled heart become another casualty of this terrible war? A poignant, compelling tale brimming with adventure, danger, and love, The Walnut Tree is an enchanting holiday gift and a wonderful companion to Charles Todd's acclaimed Bess Crawford series.
Gawayne and the Green Knight: A Fairy Tale is a poetic retelling of one of the most famous of the Arthurian legends. On Christmas Day King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table are together in Camelot celebrating the most sacred holiday when they hear horns. Not just any horns, but horns from Faryland which lies close at hand. The knights hurry outside to find a fearsome knight arrayed all in Green. He challenges the assembled knights to an unusual jest. Of all the knights present it is Gawayne who has the courage and valor to take up the challenge. A challenge that could cost him his life.
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This book examines the experience of two British Infantry Divisions, the 43rd (Wessex) and 53rd (Welsh), during the Overlord campaign in Northwest Europe. To understand the way the British fought during Operation Overlord, the book considers the political and military factors between 1918 and 1943 before addressing the major battles and many of the minor engagements and day-to-day experiences of the campaign.
Through detailed exploration of unit war diaries and first-hand accounts, Louis Devine demonstrates how Montgomery's way of war translated to the divisions and their sub units. While previous literature has suggested that the British Army fought a cautious war in order to avoid the heavy casualties of the First World War, Devine challenges this concept by showing that the Overlord Campaign fought at sub-divisional levels was characterised by command pressure to achieve results quickly, hasty planning and a reliance on massive artillery and mortar contributions to compensate for deficiencies in anti-tank and armoured support.
By following two British infantry divisions over a continuous period and focusing on soldiers' experience to offer a perspective 'from below', as well as challenging the consensus of a 'cautious' British campaign, this book provides a much-needed re-examination of the Overlord campaign which will be of great interest to students and scholars of the Second World War and modern military history in general.
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