One hundred years after the outbreak of the Great War, Sebastian Faulks, whose novel Birdsong has sold over 2.5 million copies, introduces four writers, and the pieces of First World War literature that mean most to them. Poet and fiction writer Tobias Hill looks at Alain-Fournier’s Le Grand Meaulnes. The Irish poet Michael Longley, whose father was awarded the Military Cross for gallantry during the First World War, reads from the poetry of Robert Graves, Wilfred Owen, Isaac Rosenberg, Siegfried Sassoon and Edward Thomas, as well as his own war-inspired work. Timberlake Wertenbaker, whose most recent play, Our Ajax, looks at the trauma of modern warfare, explains how she was
marked by Pat Barker’s Regeneration trilogy. And Louisa Young, author of the bestselling First World War novel My Dear, I Wanted to Tell You, considers The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West.