Here's a virtual movie of the celebrated English author R. F. Delderfield reading his timely quotation of a German Poem from his final novel written in 1972 "To Serve Them All My Days" which was set in the period just after WW1 The poem quoted in part "Enfant perdu - Lost Child" is by Heinrich Heine. This beautiful sad segment of a much longer poem sequence although written in the early 19th century from Heine's Lamentationen of the Romanzero. The twentieth and last poem in the subdivision Lazarus fitted perfectly Delderfields Novel about the trials and tribulations of a young WW1 veteran and schoolmaster in a public school in the West of England, speaks an eternal truth of great deeds and lives being wasted in the pointless slaughter of war. "'But wars and justice have far different laws," "And worthless acts are often done quite well;/The rascal's shots were better than his cause,/And I was hit--and hit again, and fell'--appropriate, wouldn't you say?"
Heinrich Heine (born Harry Heine, changed to Christian Johann Heinrich Heine following his conversion to Christianity from Judaism) (13 December 1797 -- 17 February 1856) was one of the most significant German poets of the 19th century. He was also a journalist, essayist, and literary critic. He is best known outside Germany for his early lyric poetry, which was set to music in the form of Lieder (art songs) by composers such as Robert Schumann and Franz Schubert. Heine's later verse and prose is distinguished by its satirical wit and irony. His radical political views led to many of his works being banned by German authorities. Heine spent the last 25 years of his life as an expatriate in Paris.
Ronald Frederick Delderfield (12 February 1912 -- 24 June 1972) was a popular English novelist and dramatist, many of whose works have been adapted for television and are still widely read.
To Serve Them All My Days is a novel by British author R. F. Delderfield.
First published in 1972, the book was adapted for television in 1980. It was also adapted as a 5-part series of 45-minute plays for BBC Radio 4, first broadcast in January 2006.
The protagonist is David Powlett-Jones, a coal miner's son from South Wales, who has risen from the ranks and been commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in World War I after serving three years in the front-line trenches. In 1918, after being injured and shell-shocked, he is employed to teach history at Bamfylde School, a fictional public school in North Devon
"To Serve Them All My Days" mirrors the history of Britain in the post-Great War era, casting David's experiences against the difficulties, contradictions, and social issues of the interwar years. David's life focuses on how Britain comes to terms with the turmoil of the Great War, the General Strike, socialism and the formation of the National Government in particular. Some commentators[who?] have remarked on the similarities between this book and the earlier Goodbye, Mr. Chips, which has a similar theme but is less pointedly politically and socially-oriented.
"Bamfylde," the public school in North Devon was influenced by West Buckland School, the school that R.F Delderfield himself attended. He makes reference to the West Buckland houses of Bamfylde and Boyer, which housed, respectively, girls and boys.
All rights are reserved on this video recording copyright Jim Clark 2012