William, An Englishman

Read by Expatriate

(4.5 stars; 25 reviews)

William – an Englishman is a 1919 novel by Cicely Hamilton. The novel explores the effect of the First World War on a married couple during the rise of Socialism and the Suffragette movement. It was originally published by Skeffington & Son before being reprinted by Persephone Books in 1999. Described as 'a passionate assertion of the futility of war' by The Spectator, William - an Englishman won the first Prix Femina-Vie Heureuse Anglais prize in 1920. - Summary by Wikipedia (6 hr 10 min)


Chapter 01 30:34 Read by Expatriate
Chapter 02 18:53 Read by Expatriate
Chapter 03 14:36 Read by Expatriate
Chapter 04 24:01 Read by Expatriate
Chapter 05 15:30 Read by Expatriate
Chapter 06 23:45 Read by Expatriate
Chapter 07 18:30 Read by Expatriate
Chapter 08 12:19 Read by Expatriate
Chapter 09 27:42 Read by Expatriate
Chapter 10 15:40 Read by Expatriate
Chapter 11 25:01 Read by Expatriate
Chapter 12 17:07 Read by Expatriate
Chapter 13 12:33 Read by Expatriate
Chapter 14 24:38 Read by Expatriate
Chapter 15 26:13 Read by Expatriate
Chapter 16 12:57 Read by Expatriate
Chapter 17 30:14 Read by Expatriate
Chapter 18 20:11 Read by Expatriate


Deeply affecting Great War novel.

(5 stars)

Brilliant premise, beautifully crafted, deeply affecting. The author Cicely Hamilton is a keen and wry observer of human strengths and foibles. The reader, Expatriate, seems to be not only a reader but also a curator. I find merit and satisfaction in all of the books he's read to which I have listened. This particular listen has been, for me, a revelation ... about the author, the social framework in which it is set, and the fact that a woman could write, so excellently, such a trenchant war novel. Another thing: this would have been a real page turner in visual form. Particularly recommended to those who know at least a little (or a lot of) WWI history. Thank you, Expatriate!

A Grim Way to Learn

(4 stars)

William is a nondescript, mousy clerk when we first meet him. Ignorant and impressionable, he almost without thought becomes a protege of a social reformer and develops into a fiery orator against the government, its military, capitalism, etc. He meets an equally fiery (and ignorant) women's rights reformer in Griselda. On the eve of WWI, the two fall in love and marry, not knowing nor caring about world events. They honeymoon in the Belgian countryside, where the naive and narrow-minded couple very suddenly learn of the existence and brutality of war. The book isn't really a condemnation of war, but takes the viewpoint that it is often necessary. It's not a commendation of it, either. It paints a bleak picture of military life and procedure, and admits that war and politics are often a complex web that cannot be easily explained, prevented, or reformed. I didn't notice a jump in the story due to a couple missing pages. The pages cited in the other review are in the audio; perhaps the reader edited them into his original recording.

Grim, yes, but what is life without death?

(5 stars)

In attempts to realistically portray the early 1900's world, it is necessary to create a somber side to the story. A side which you wish you hadn't read, but that you will never be able to forget. Don't blame the author for such parts.

(5 stars)

(Minor spoilers) Excellent story. The sad tale of two young and ignorant activists whose honeymoon in Belgium at the outset of WWI shatters their understanding of the impossibility of a world war; and the ensuing consequences of their tragedy. It is both a romance and a tale of war. Excellent.

(5 stars)

Expatriate is my favourite reader. Another excellent choice. Sad, moving novel of love and loss.

Missing pages 169-170

(0 stars)

The text for the missing pages is https://archive.org/stream/williamanenglish00hamiiala#page/169/mode/1up https://archive.org/stream/williamanenglish00hamiiala#page/170/mode/1up

A cleanly crafted, thought provoking story - expertly read.

(4 stars)