London: Ivor Nicholson and Watson. Near Fine in Very Good dj. 1936. First Edition. Hardcover. [good sound clean book, one-time owner's signature on ffep, very slight bumping to bottom rear corner; jacket has tiny tears and very slight paper loss at several corners, a little more pronounced (but still small) paper loss at base of spine and top front corner of spine]. Novel based on one of the more horrifying subplots, so to speak, of World War I: the fate of a group of Serbian girls who were evacuated from Belgrade in July 1914 to the Monastery of St. Roman, deep in the Balkans. When the old monks fled in the face of invading armies, the children, "abandoned in [the] forlorn and desolate monastery . . . starved, but had all manner of adventures, finally being sold into virtual slavery to Bulgarians. Their names were changed and they were lost to their parents." Although the novel focuses primarily on the story of one girl, Desa, "it is also an epic of the war and tells for the first time in English of the heroic retreat of the Serb army through Albania, carrying its sick king Peter on a stretcher through the snowy mountain passes to the sea." The novel was praised by one contemporary reviewer for its "child's vision of strife-torn Europe [in which] children roamed in bands, starving and diseased," and noted that "few ended so happily as Desa [who escapes from her Bulgarian captors and is reunited with her father], and few had so good a promise of a hopeful future." . (Inventory #: 23579)
Unusual, Uncommon and Obscure Books in many (but not all) fields, with particular interest in American Culture (Popular and Unpopular), Art, Literature, Life and People from the 1920s through the 1960s.
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