As mentioned in the last post sometimes the boxes of books bought at auction contain interesting surprises. Here is one such. A slim collection of First World War poems by Gilbert Frankau (1884-1952). He went on to become a successful novelist in the inter-war years but like very many authors throughout history is little known or read today. But the poems are good – written on the Western Front each is located to the battlefield where it was written. But what, one wonders, is the story behind the hand written inscription “Effie, with best love from Edith. Christmas 1920”. One woman to another – women who lost loved ones and friends in the devasting conflict? Women who are facing another Christmas alone? But a strange gift because the poems, good though they are, are hardly comforting reading.