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Iron love

Iron love

Boys at a colonial school in South Africa just before the onset of World War I are governed by unstated commandments: silence, denial and not failing at football.
26209
978-0-14-029705-8
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Title: Iron love
Author: Marguerite Poland
Publisher: The Penguin Group (South Africa)
Cape Town, South Africa 2000
ISBN 9780140297058 / ISBN 978-0-14-029705-8
Softcover, 13 x 20 cm, 480 pages

About: Iron love

Iron Love is a work of fiction and must be judged as such. One of the protagonists, Charlie Fraser, is based closely on the truth, others are a combination of fact and fiction, others, entirely imaginary. The story has been constructed from fragments of boy-history, family legend, a passing anecdote from an old boy, the experience of a present pupil. These have been absorbed and used in different ways in an attempt to breathe life and authenticity into the characters. Most of the events in the tale arise from my conception of how it might have been, set within a carefully researched timeframe and in a much-loved place in which the real history of the school and the recall of the community provide texture and background. I acknowledge that some will recognise flashes of their own relatives' lives and I hope that the mixture of conjecture and fact will neither be judged as intruding too far nor disappoint for fictionalising dearly held histories that some might have wished to be told more accurately or fully. The fifteen boys who gazed at me from the 1913 First XV photograph in the school archives have been the source from which much of the story sprang. Those fine, valorous young men embody the spirit of the time. Within five years, seven of the fifteen had lost their lives in battle. In writing of them, I hope I have restored them to memory, and if I have taken liberties with them, I hope I will be forgiven on the grounds of my loyalty and commitment to the school they represent and my admiration for the brief honour of their lives. In my experience of sharing in their story during the time of writing Iron Love, I feel that the tribute paid to one by a Commanding Officer, so long ago, could stand for all: 'If I ever have a son, I shall be proud to know he was like your boy, lovable, courteous, brave and altogether delightful'


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