My most recent book, 'Peace at Last: A Portrait of Armistice Day, 11 November 1918', was published by Yale University Press in October 2018. Peace at Last was 'Book of the Week' in The Evening Standard, and it was included in the Daily Telegraph's ‘Books of the Year’, The New Statesman's 'Best Books of 2018' and in the ‘Best Books of 2018’ in Gulf News. I gave the British Academy's Chatterton Lecture in 2018, on Edward Thomas, and my biography of Wilfred Owen was published by Yale University Press in 2014.
‘[Cuthbertson’s] brilliant portrayal of Britain on the day that peace broke out; when people could believe there was an end to the war to end all wars. He weaves a wonderful tapestry of the mood and events across the country, drawing on a wide range of local and regional newspapers. It is accessible history at its best. […] outstanding […] wonderfully stimulating’ (Peace at Last, 'Book of the Week', The Evening Standard, 8 November)
'In his absorbing and well-researched study, Mr. Cuthbertson, a professor of literature at Liverpool Hope University, shows how a day of spontaneity was tamed over time, as celebration morphed into commemoration. [...] "Peace at Last," despite its sometimes grim subject, is a pleasure to read and is full of fascinating tidbits.' (The Wall Street Journal, 12 November)
'Guy Cuthbertson’s superbly researched and exhaustive survey of the day the Great War ended [...] One of the strengths of this fine book is that the reader has the sensation that he or she actually took part in what, at the time, was regarded as the greatest day in the history of the world [...] extensive context and understanding [...] Cuthbertson sets the scene expertly [...] this is as definitive a work as one could wish for about the day that saw the end of what was supposedly the war to end all wars.' (The Literary Review, November 2018)
The New Statesman, January 2018, ‘Best Books of 2018’ (‘the books we’ll be reading in 2018’): ‘The other big anniversary is the end of the First World War. Peace at Last by Guy Cuthbertson (Yale University Press, October) uses letters, diaries and newspapers to build an hour-by-hour account of “how the people of Britain experienced the moment that peace became a reality”.’
I have recently appeared on several television programmes, including BBC One's 'Remembrance Sunday: The Cenotaph' with David Dimbleby.
Please also visit my website for further information: http://guycuthbertson.com
‘In his compelling study Peace At Last, Guy Cuthbertson combines the curiosity of the biographer and the delicacy of the literary historian to recover the life-story of a single day – 11 November 1918 – in all its sensuous detail and incorrigible plurality. Drawing on a remarkable range of sources, he takes us on a rare journey across the nation and beyond, from the silence of the front and the myriad noises and interruptions at home that morning to bonfires and music-making through the night to plunge us into the minutiae of human emotions: disbelief, joy, abandon, but also grief and mourning. Imaginative, moving and brilliantly researched, this book brings together ordinary men, women and children as well as artists and writers in a novel way to understand and evoke an extraordinary day in world history.’ (Santanu Das, author of Touch and Intimacy in First World War Literature)
‘A timely contribution to our understanding of the First World War through the lens of its final day, Peace at Last chronicles a range of voices and experiences that have not been brought together before. It is a fascinating read.’ (Jane Potter, author of Boys in Khaki, Girls in Print: Women’s Literary Responses to the Great War 1914-1918)
‘Peace at Last offers a fresh, vivid, and deeply researched analysis of the British experience on Armistice Day 1918. The book is a delight to read: full of perceptive commentary and arresting detail.’ (David Stevenson, author of With Our Backs to the Wall: Victory and Defeat in 1918)
‘Cuthbertson is a superb biographer, and his panoramic new book gives us the biography—so to speak—of Armistice Day. It is the most complete account so far of a day that, even a century later, shows no sign of loosening its hold on our cultural memory.’ (Tim Kendall, author of Modern English War Poetry)
‘A poignant account of 11 November 1918, the day of great rejoicing that marked the Armistice on the Western Front. Often neglected, “passed over in a leap from the war to Versailles”, Cuthbertson explores the events of Armistice Day in great, moving detail.’ (Nick Lloyd, author of Hundred Days: The End of the Great War)
‘A novel and wide-ranging examination of the conclusion of the war once solemnly declared to be the one to end all wars.’ (Kirkus)
My biography of Wilfred Owen was published by Yale University Press in 2014 and in paperback in 2015. A Daily Mail 'Must Read' October 2015. Paperback reviews: 'compassionate and moving' (Daily Mail); 'a valuable addition to the huge library devoted to the war's remarkable literary legacy' (BBC History Magazine).
Hardback reviews: 'scintillating' (Times Higher Education), 'truly lovely' (Birmingham Post), 'very readable, focused, vigorous, well-documented' (The New Statesman), 'impressive' (The Sunday Herald), 'Book of the Week' (The Daily Mail), 'written with such sincerity, diligence and empathy' (The Financial Times), 'absorbing' (TLS), 'admirably thorough' (The Sunday Times), 'this book is rewarding' (Country Life), Booklist starred review - Top 10 Biographies of the Year, 'scrupulous, thoughtful, open-minded, fired with enthusiasm for the poems and respect for the man - a fine biography' (The Times), 'an original, sparkling book' (Friends of the Dymock Poets Newsletter), 'lively, frequently witty, and extensively researched' (The Use of English), 'highly recommended' (The National Review).
'a scintillating biography [...] For a long time Owen has been set in stone, his poetry ossifying into anti-war cliché. Cuthbertson has made him live again' (Times Higher Education Supplement)
'rarely has a poet been better served than by Guy Cuthbertson's sensitive and beautifully-written account [...] highly readable, using a wealth of fascinating detail [...] Should you purchase this truly lovely and deeply humane book, I guarantee you will read and re-read it - maybe for the rest of your life.' (Birmingham Post)
'Top Ten Biographies: 2014' - the top ten biographies of the year, 2013-14: 'Cuthbertson sensitively considers Owen's childlike charm, objections to the war, and heroism at the front' (Booklist)
'In this compassionate and moving biography, Cuthbertson lifts the lid on Owen's early years and their impact on his work. [...] While his boyishness nurtured his verse, his writing was mature and sophisticated, and Cuthbertson scrutinises this relationship wonderfully' (Daily Mail)
'Cuthbertson is an acute and perceptive critic [...] This book is a valuable addition to the huge library devoted to the war's remarkable literary legacy' (BBC History Magazine)
I am Associate Professor in English Literature and Head of the School of Humanities at Liverpool Hope University. I studied at St Andrews University and then at The Queen's College, Oxford University (M.Phil and D.Phil), and I have held lectureships at Oxford (St Edmund Hall and Merton), Swansea, Brighton and London (Queen Mary) as well as a teaching fellowship at St Andrews.
November 11, 2018, marks the centenary of the armistice signed between the Allies and Germany ending World War I. While the events of the war and its legacy are much discussed, this is the first book to focus solely on the day itself. Listen to learn more....