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y separately published work icon The Middle Parts of Fortune : Somme and Ancre, 1916 single work   novel   war literature  
Issue Details: First known date: 1929... 1929 The Middle Parts of Fortune : Somme and Ancre, 1916
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'The drumming of the guns continued, with bursts of great intensity. It was as though a gale streamed overhead, piling up great waves of sound, and hurrying them onwards to crash in surf on the enemy entrenchments. The windless air about them, by its very stillness, made that unearthly music more terrible to hear.

'First published anonymously in 1929 because its language was considered far too frank for public circulation, The Middle Parts of Fortune was hailed by T. S. Eliot and Ezra Pound, by Lawrence of Arabia and Ernest Hemingway, as an extraordinary novel. Its author was in fact Frederic Manning, an Australian writer who fought in the Battle of the Somme in 1916, and who told his story of men at war from the perspective of an ordinary soldier.' (Publication summary : Text Classics)

Notes

  • Dedication: To Peter Davies, who made me write it.
  • The Middle Parts of Fortune was originally published anonymously in 1929 and was not published again in its original form until 1977 (Oxford Companion to Australian Literature). An expurgated version under the title Her Privates We was published in 1930 under the pseudonym "Private 19022" which was Manning's army number. The work has been republished under both titles.
  • In 2014, the novel was listed by The Guardian newspaper as one of the 10 best books to arise from the war.

Contents

* Contents derived from the Melbourne, Victoria,:Text Publishing , 2000 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
The Fortunes of Private 19022, Simon Caterson , single work criticism biography (p. vii-xiii)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Piazza Press ,
      1929 .
      image of person or book cover 504515048011524269.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online
      Link: 8491410Full text document AustLit Full Text
      Extent: 2 v. 1-226, 227-453p.
      Limited edition info: Limited ed. of 520 numbered copies ... for issue to subscribers.
      Note/s:
      • Published anonymously.
      • 'Issued to subscribers by Peter Davies'.
      • 'An ordinary edition of the same work, but with certain prunings and excisions, will be published through the usual channels, under the title of HER PRIVATES WE.'
      • Epigraph: Volume I: On fortune's cap we arenot the very button ... Then you live about her waist, or in the middle of her favour? ... 'Faith, her privates we (Shakespeare's Hamlet). Epigraph Vol.2 : I Have led my ragamuffins where they are peppered; there's not three hundred and fifty left alive, and they are for the town's end, to beg during life. (Shakespeare, King Henry IV, Part I.)

      • Digitised by AustLit in cooperation with SETIS, 2003.
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Peter Davies ,
      1977 .
      Extent: vii, 246 pp.
      Edition info: New ed. of the 1929 unexpurgated version.
      Note/s:
      • Introduced by Michael Howard.
      ISBN: 0432090819
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      St. Martin's Press ,
      1977 .
      Extent: 246p.
      Edition info: Unexpurgated ed.
      ISBN: 0312531850
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Mayflower Books ,
      1977 .
      Extent: viii, 247p.p.
      ISBN: 0583127363 (pbk)
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Buchan & Enright ,
      1986 .
      Extent: vii, 246 p.p.
      Note/s:
      • Introduction by Michael Howard.
      ISBN: 0907675557 (pbk)
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Hogarth Press ,
      1986 .
      Alternative title: Her Privates We
      Extent: 246p.
      Note/s:
      • New introduction by Lyn Macdonald.
      ISBN: 0701207027 (pbk)
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Serpent's Tail ,
      1999 .
      Alternative title: Her Privates We
      Extent: 296p.
      Note/s:
      • Introduction by William Boyd.
      ISBN: 1852427175(pbk.)
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Penguin Books ,
      2000 .
      Extent: xvii, 247p.p.
      Note/s:
      • Introduction by Niall Ferguson.
      ISBN: 0141181583 (pbk.)
    • Melbourne, Victoria,: Text Publishing , 2012 .
      image of person or book cover 8649981198085757667.jpg
      Cover image courtesy of publisher.
      Extent: xviii, 301p.p.
      Note/s:
      ISBN: 9781921922381 (pbk.)
      Series: y separately published work icon Text Classics Text Publishing (publisher), Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2012- Z1851461 2012 series - publisher novel 'Great books by great Australian storytellers.' (Text website.)
    • Melbourne, Victoria,: Penguin , 2014 .
      image of person or book cover 2157923799257623362.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 247p.p.
      ISBN: 9780143571681
      Series: y separately published work icon War Popular Penguins Melbourne : Penguin , 2014- 7552598 2014 series - publisher war literature

      'A collection of the best and bravest books about the Anzacs and the First World War.'

      Source: Publisher's description.

Alternative title: Her Privates, We
Notes:
Expurgated edition.
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Peter Davies ,
      1930 .
      Extent: 453p.
      Edition info: Expurgated edition.
      Written as: Private 19022
      Note/s:
      • "by Private 19022"
      • Epigraph: I Have led my ragamuffins where they are peppered;/ there's not three hundred and fifty left alive, and/ they are for the town's end, to beg during life. (Shakespeare, King Henry IV, Part I.
      • 'First published, January 1930'.
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Peter Davies ,
      1964 .
      Extent: 274p.
      Edition info: Reprint of 1930 ed.
      Note/s:
      • Introduction by Edmund Blunden
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Peter Davies ,
      1965 .
      Extent: [6], 274p.p.
      Note/s:
      • Introduction by Edmund Blunden
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Pan ,
      1967 .
      Extent: 301p.
      Note/s:
      • Introduction by Edmund Blunden
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Peter Davies ,
      1970 .
      Extent: 274p.
      ISBN: 0432090800

Other Formats

  • Also sound recording, e-book.

Works about this Work

Untitled A. C. Ward , single work review
— Review of The Middle Parts of Fortune : Somme and Ancre, 1916 Frederic Manning , 1929 single work novel
Untitled Cyril Falls , single work review
— Review of The Middle Parts of Fortune : Somme and Ancre, 1916 Frederic Manning , 1929 single work novel
Frederic Manning and the Greatest War Novel of All Time Malcolm St Hill , 2018 single work column
— Appears in: Overland [Online] , November 2018;

'Australian writer Frederic Manning wrote what many considered to be the best narrative of the Great War. For Ernest Hemingway, The Middle Parts of Fortune was the ‘finest and noblest book of men in war’, period. It’s a bold and arresting claim that calls for a quick look, if not a deeper dive, into Manning’s enigmatic life and work. This is particularly pertinent in light of the centenary of the Armistice this month.' (Introduction)

“Whichever and Whatever It Was” : Rendering War and Peace in Australian WWI Narratives Clare Rhoden , 2016 single work essay
— Appears in: Long Paddock , vol. 75 no. 3 2016;
'Australian narratives of World War I (WWI) reflect a different but characteristic commemoration of that event. While the best (to modern eyes) novels of WWI present a comprehensive picture of disillusionment, futility and waste, Australian stories proffer the view that the war was worthwhile, and that the sacrifices of the Anzacs were honourable and justified. In placing WWI as a salient marker denoting the origin of the nation, Australian texts diverge from the revered WWI canon’s convincing portrayal of the war as a symbol of civilisation’s demise. Even accepting this divergence, however, there is much in Australian narratives that amplifies the memorialisation of the war in Australian society.' (Introduction)
Her Bibliographers We Laurie Hergenhan , 2014 single work correspondence
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , October no. 365 2014; (p. 4)
Untitled Esther MacCallum Stewart , 2006 single work review
— Appears in: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die 2006; (p. 344)

— Review of The Middle Parts of Fortune : Somme and Ancre, 1916 Frederic Manning , 1929 single work novel
Novels I Think You Would Like to Read S. M. MacFarlane , 1930 single work review
— Appears in: All About Books , 19 April vol. 2 no. 4 1930; (p. 94-95)

— Review of The Middle Parts of Fortune : Somme and Ancre, 1916 Frederic Manning , 1929 single work novel
Some New Books Reviewed Alan Fraser , 1930 single work review
— Appears in: All About Books , 19 April vol. 2 no. 4 1930; (p. 100, 102)

— Review of The Middle Parts of Fortune : Somme and Ancre, 1916 Frederic Manning , 1929 single work novel
Untitled Chris Flynn , 2012 single work review
— Appears in: The Lifted Brow , no. 14 2012; (p. 27)

— Review of The Middle Parts of Fortune : Somme and Ancre, 1916 Frederic Manning , 1929 single work novel
Untitled Cyril Falls , single work review
— Review of The Middle Parts of Fortune : Somme and Ancre, 1916 Frederic Manning , 1929 single work novel
Reflections of War in British and Australian Literature of the First World War J. T. Laird , 1985 single work criticism
— Appears in: Studies in Prose Literature 1985; (p. 72-79)
The Great Novel Andrew Coorey , 2004 single work criticism
— Appears in: Eureka Street , March vol. 14 no. 2 2004; (p. 32-33)
The War Continues : A Further Note on War Books Eric Partridge , 1930 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Window , April vol. 1 no. 2 1930; (p. 62-85)
A Bookseller Talks Shop W. E. Fuller , 1930 single work column humour
— Appears in: All About Books , 19 April vol. 2 no. 4 1930; (p. 91-92)
The Author of 'Her Privates We' 1930 single work column
— Appears in: All About Books , 19 April vol. 2 no. 4 1930; (p. 102)
Brief article confirming the identity of Private 19022.
Last amended 22 Apr 2015 13:57:36
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