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January 15, 2019


#AWW2019 Louise Mack

by NancyElin



  1. In 1914 when war broke out Louise Mack was in Belgium
  2. where she continued to work as the first woman
  3. war correspondent for the
  4. Evening News and the London Daily Mail.
  5. This book is her eye-witness
  6. …account of the German invasion of Antwerp.
  7. 28 September – 10 October 1914 (1 week and 5 days)



  1. While I read to this book I had to think of
  2. …the difference between Marie Colvin (1956-2012)
  3. foreign affairs correspondent for the British newspaper
  4. The Sunday Times and Louise Mack (1870-1935).
  5. While the Zeppelin returns to attack Antwerp
  6. I read Louise Mack saying:
  7. “…I saw my powder puff. I saw my bag.”
  8. “…no slippers came under my fingers,
  9. and I wanted  slippers
  10. in case of going out into the streets.
  11. I must just accept that this book
  12. …was written more than 100 years ago.

Last thoughts:

  1. Weak point: choppy writing style.
  2. Strong point: The chapters 46-47 were of special
  3. interest for me (I live in Netherlands)
  4. They describe Louise Mack’s impression
  5. of the Dutch welcoming
  6. …Belgium refugees after the fall of Antwerp.
  7. Good eye-witness reporting.
  8. …but very outmoded.
12 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jan 15 2019

    I see you found a Librivox recording, I must listen to that. I’ve put a link to the recording and to your review on the AWW Gen 2 page. I’m glad you found it of interest that she was reporting from your back yard so to speak.

    • Jan 15 2019

      Yes, that was the most interesting part, Bill.
      The Netherlands remained neutral during the Great War but
      being a nation that ‘opens its arms’ (…even now!) we welcomed
      our shell shocked neighbors. I read the book and listened to the audio. I do that for books that don’t really capture my interest in a big way….but the audio keeps me connected to the book.

  2. Jan 16 2019

    Great to see you reading Louise Mack, Nancy. I’ve written a couple of posts on Mack, including a Monday Musings in which I referred briefly to her war experience – so I was intrigued to see this.

    BTW my AWW Gen 2 review will be on a book by Mack too!!

    • Jan 16 2019

      Louise Mack is a completely new look at war correspondents and the standards they needed to live up to. I had just finished L. Hilsum’s biography about Marie Colvin. She was the TIMES war corresp until she was killed in Syria 2012. Just the juxtaposition of the style of writing about war was amazing. Mack has time to discuss about her ‘powder puff’ and Colvin an unglamorous hard-drinking woman who was braver than the boys/men around her..wrote reports that were ful of suspense and raw images! A wonan’s experieneces…in war situations has changed in 100 years! Who are our leadiing female reports in combat zones now? I’ll have to research that! Thanks for your comments, Sue…and I’ve just read your post on the shortlist Indie Awards! Thanks!

      • Jan 16 2019

        Thanks Nancy. I guess things have changed in 100 years for most professions – with all the niceties usually gone! Colvin sounds very interesting. We have a few women war correspondents here, including one, Sally Sara, who suffered from PTSD as a result, back in about 2012. She’s OK now, I believe, but she has shared the impact of her experience.

      • Jan 16 2019

        Colvin also suffered from PTSD…and heavily self-medicated with alcohol. Seek professional help?…she wasn’t that kind of person.

      • Jan 16 2019

        Silly woman eh… Sally Sara did.

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