Monday, 23 January 2017
This was another book that went on my list as a result of Andrew Marr's Paperback Heroes series; I thought it sounded intriguing. It was serialised as a very successful bit of Daily Mail scare-mongering in 1906. (Clearly nothing changes!) News vendors were kitted out in Prussian greatcoats and spiky helmets and every edition carried an update of the parts of the country that were now at imminent risk of German invasion ... and, of course, the readers lapped it up and circulation increased by 80,000 copies a day.
(Actually, I do love a good newspaper stunt!) The Government of the day tried to suppress it as dangerous for national morale.
Sounds exciting? Well, the trouble is, it's rather a dull read. There's no characters to bring it to life. It's just a list of military manoeuvres as the Germans invade in a shock attack on the east coast and go on to take London. I don't normally hold with the idea of separate genres for men/women ... but this is a boys' book. The Riddle of the Sands is a far better read.