The Return of the Soldier
Publication Date: June 8, 2004
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Set during World War I on an isolated country estate just outside London, Rebecca West’s haunting novel The Return of the Soldier follows Chris Baldry, a shell-shocked captain suffering from amnesia, as he makes a bittersweet homecoming to the three women who have helped shape his life. Will the devoted wife he can no longer recollect, the favorite cousin he remembers only as a childhood friend, and the poor innkeeper’s daughter he once courted leave Chris to languish in a safe, dreamy past—or will they help him recover his memory so that he can return to the front? The answer is revealed through a heartwrenching, unexpected sacrifice.
The text of this Modern Library Paperback Classic was set from the first American edition, published in 1918, and features original illustrations by Norman Price.
About the Introducer
VERLYN KLINKENBORG, the author of Making Hay, The Last Fine Time, and The Rural Life, has written for numerous publications. A member of the editorial board of The New York Times, he lives in upstate New York.
“Brilliant . . . [West was] an artist who wrote wonderful prose, who took chances with language and cadence, and who wrote poetically, even of prosaic subjects.”
—The New Republic