You know, the author of the World War I novel All Quiet on the Western Front.
What does his birth have to do with the Victorian Era?
Very little, actually. But it was a great book, and I highly recommend it.
The celebrated American journalist H. L. Mencken called All Quiet on the
Western Front “unquestionably the best story of the World War.” Both the book
and the 1930 film version were banned by the Nazis after their rise to power in
Germany in 1933 as “prejudicial to German national prestige.” Remarque went on
to write nine more novels, all dealing with the horror and futility of war and
the struggle to understand its purpose; his last novel, The Night in Lisbon, was
unsparing in its condemnation of World War II as Adolf Hitler’s attempt to
perpetrate the extermination of Jews and other “nonpeople” on behalf of the
And I had no idea he was married to Paulette Goddard! Cool.
The era as a whole had significant impact on the 20th century – we can still see the ramifications today. You can study WWII all you want, but without understanding WWI, you have very little hope of getting anything. And without studying the convoluted alliances of the late 1800s, you have very little hope of understanding WWI.
It’s a vicious cycle.
But it does prove that all history is connected, and confirms that old adage “Those who don’t understand history are destined to repeat it.”