Your Death Would Be Mine Paul and Marie Pireaud in the Great War

ISBN-10: 0674030516
ISBN-13: 9780674030510
Edition: 2006
Authors: Martha Hanna
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Description: Paul and Marie Pireaud, a young peasant couple from southwest France, were newlyweds when World War I erupted. With Paul in the army from 1914 through 1919, they were forced to conduct their marriage mostly by correspondence. Drawing upon the  More...

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Book details

Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 12/15/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 352
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.924
Language: English

Paul and Marie Pireaud, a young peasant couple from southwest France, were newlyweds when World War I erupted. With Paul in the army from 1914 through 1919, they were forced to conduct their marriage mostly by correspondence. Drawing upon the hundreds of letters they wrote, Martha Hanna tells their moving story and reveals a powerful and personal perspective on war. Civilians and combatants alike maintained bonds of emotional commitment and suffered the inevitable miseries of extended absence. While under direct fire at Verdun, Paul wrote with equal intensity and poetic clarity of the brutality of battle and the dietary needs (as he understood them) of his pregnant wife. Marie, in turn, described the difficulties of working the family farm and caring for a sick infant, lamented the deaths of local men, and longed for the safe return of her husband. Through intimate avowals and careful observations, their letters reveal how war transformed their lives, reinforced their love, and permanently altered the character of rural France. Overwhelmed by one of the most tumultuous upheavals of the modern age, Paul and Marie found solace in family and strength in passion. Theirs is a human story of loneliness and longing, fear in the face of death, and the consolations of love. Your Death Would Be Mine is a poignant tale of ordinary people coping with the trauma of war.

Martha Hanna is Professor of History, University of Colorado at Boulder.

Introduction
How Sad the Countryside Is
Here It Is Extermination on the Ground
Oh, How I Suffered, My Poor Paul
No One Is Happy in War
We Are Martyrs of the Century
Conclusion
Notes
Index

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