Peregrine Acland (1891–1963) joined the Canadian Army in 1914 at the outbreak of the First World War and quickly rose to the rank of an officer. He took part in the great battles of the Somme, which he describes vividly in All Else Is Folly.
All Else Is Folly
One of Canada’s most painful and breathtaking pictures of a soldier’s life during the First World War.
Peregrine Acland’s novel All Else Is Folly is an irreplaceable depiction of the Canadian experience in the First World War. More than just a devastating portrayal of the terrors and hardships of trench warfare, the novel is also a profound meditation on the nature of man, one that draws on both the Nietzschean notion of man as warrior and Havelock Ellis’s idea of man as lover. Subtitled "a tale of war and passion," the novel was something of a bestseller in its time and drew significant critical praise. Canadian Prime Minister Sir Robert Borden remarked: "No more vivid picture has been painted of what war meant to the average soldier."
Originally published in 1929, Acland’s war story had transatlantic success, with editions published under the Constable imprint in England, and by Coward-McCann and Grosset & Dunlap in the United States. The Canadian edition published by McClelland & Stewart enjoyed three printings. This new edition marks a return to print after more than eight decades.
Brian Busby is a literary historian, independent scholar, and writer. He has written two books: Character Parts and A Gentleman of Pleasure. He is also the editor of In Flanders Fields and Other Poems of the First World War and War Poems.
James Calhoun is the archivist for the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada Museum and Archives. A writer with a particular interest in the Canadian literature of the First World War, he is the co-author, with Brian Busby, of the introduction to Peregrine Acland’s All Else Is Folly. He lives in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia.
Ford Madox Ford, born Ford Hermann Hueffer, was an English novelist, poet, critic and editor whose journals, The English Review and The Transatlantic Review, were instrumental in the development of early 20th-century English literature.