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The First World War and British Military History$
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Brian Bond

Print publication date: 1991

Print ISBN-13: 9780198222996

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198222996.001.0001

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Early Historical Responses to the Great War: Fortescue, Conan Doyle, and Buchan *

Early Historical Responses to the Great War: Fortescue, Conan Doyle, and Buchan *

Chapter:
(p.15) 1 Early Historical Responses to the Great War: Fortescue, Conan Doyle, and Buchan*
Source:
The First World War and British Military History
Author(s):

Keith Grieves

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198222996.003.0002

This chapter explores the problems encountered by amateur historians John Fortescue, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and John Buchan in writing general histories of World War I before an official model was available. Fortescue attempted to make sense of the idea of official history but later returned to his study of Wellington's career, while Conan Doyle aspired to write an official history but was unable to depict the scale of the war. Buchan was the most successful of the three. This is because he had unrestricted access to source material and leading actors in the war and he was able to cope more effectively with the practical constraints on contemporary history writing.

Keywords:   World War I, history writing, John Fortescue, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, John Buchan

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