The Great Silence
Armistice Day 1918 dawns with great joy for victorious Britain, but the nation must confront the carnage war has left in its wake. In The Great Silence, Juliet Nicolson looks through the prism of daily life to narrate the rich but unknown history of the slow healing Britain undergoes in the two years following that day.
The two-year anniversary of the Armistice brings some closure at last: the remains of a nameless soldier, dug up from a French battlefield and escorted to London in a homecoming befitting a king, are laid to rest in glory in the Tomb of the Unknown at Westminster Abbey. “The Great Silence,” the two minutes observed in memory of those lost, halts an entire nation in silent reverence as Big Ben strikes eleven.
The Great Silence paints a vivid picture of a nation fighting the forces that threaten to tear it apart—and discovering the common bonds that, as it moves into a new era, hold it together.