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Sophie Delaporte

Saturday 22 August 1914 A Doctor at War preface by Stéphane Audouin-Rouzeau

Sophie Delaporte is a historian, university professor at Lille, a Great War specialist, a pupil of S. Audoin-Rouzeau She wrote The Doctors of the Great War (Bayard, 2003) and The Aspiring Laby’s Papers (with S. Audoin-Rouzeau, Bayard, 2013), and collaborated on The Encyclopaedia of the Great War, 1914-1918 (Bayard, 2014) and Loves, Wars and Sexuality (Gallimard, 2007).

This book takes a point of view that is wholly original and unprecedented: the idea of reenacting the bloodiest day in the history of France, Saturday 22 August 1914 through the eyes of a doctor on the Great War battlefield. We plunge directly into the brutality of that day, reconstructed hour by hour by Great War historian Sophie Delaporte. This book introduces a whole new genre of historical fiction.

The character who serves as our guide and witness is fictional, but invented after rigorous historical work from archives and contemporary accounts.

Everything written in this book is true and historically authenticated.
The author has chosen to bring to life a young doctor deployed in the Ardennes to give us an idea of the violence, the horror, the chaos and the murderous folly of the Great War. In this single Saturday of 22 August 1914, of a force totalling 15000 men, 10000 died.


This work allows us to comprehend a key moment in French history, through the eyes of an eyewitness.
A novel and groundbreaking way to understand the destruction of 1914 and the mass slaughter of the Great War.
A historical overview, reconstructing the world as it was for those taking part in this most murderous day in human history.
A way of understanding how the face of war has changed: compare 10000 deaths in a single day in August 1914 with the Afghanistan conflict in 2008, when we deplore 10 deaths.