On Hist Fic Saturday
Let’s go back to …1910
|15 September 2022|
My thanks to Ben Cameron PR for my copy of the book
In the autumn of 1910 Edwin Lutyens, the renowned architect, receives a letter from Sir Julius Drewe for the commission of a castle on Dartmoor – Castle Drogo. Lutyens’ design for the castle focusses on both the past and the present and reflects Britain, which at that moment is in a state of flux. His daughter, Celia, becomes enamoured with the project dreaming of chivalry and heroism. The following year Edwin Lutyens and his family are invited to a stone laying ceremony at CastleDrogo. Celia meets Sir Julius’ children: Adrian, Christian and Basil.
The novel moves to 1914, and the start of the Great War. Christian Drewe is returning from Austria where he has been working as an artist. Adrian enlists on the day war is declared driven by his sense of duty. Chrisian has reservations as to joining up unconvinced that the war was either necessary or right.
The story moves from the battlefields of France and Flanders and back to London and to Castle Drogo, where the characters are reunited for brief periods. Faith and love are stretched to their limits as each character is affected by the relentless brutality of the war. Of All Faiths & None is the story of a lost generation. It is a novel that focuses on the relationships of the characters until those relationships are shattered. It is a coming-of-age tale and a social commentary on the tragedy of a needless war.
📖 My Review..
In 1910, Edward Lutyens is commissioned by Sir Julius Drewe to design a castle on Dartmoor and right from the start of the novel we are there with Lutyens as he creates his design for what will, eventually, become Castle Drogo. However, even as the ideas for Castle Drogo start to take shape war clouds in Europe loom on the horizon and the eventual devastating effects of the Great War will reverberate for both the Luytens and the Drewe families.
The author writes with such passion and conviction that it is obvious that a great deal of research has gone into the creation of such a complex story. Of All Faiths and None is a wonderfully evocative piece of historical fiction and as time and place blend together perfectly so the story becomes charged with emotion and atmosphere. Written with huge compassion and spanning the momentous years between 1910 and 1918 this story will stay with me for a long time.
I have to admit to knowing nothing at all about Castle Drogo before the start of this well written and empathetic novel. I did, however, do a little bit of internet searching to discover more, and to see images, of the finished 20th century castle for myself.
🥂Best read with…Sole bonne femme and a bottle of Pouilly-Fuissé
About the Author
ANDREW TWEEDDALE is a writer, lawyer and chef. He commenced writing Of All Faiths & None in 2004 as an anti-war novel, after visiting Castle Drogo for the first time. It took Andrew 18 years to complete the work. He is currently writing his second novel about the Mau Mau uprising. Andrew lived in Richmond and Kew Gardens for the last 30 years and now divides his time between the UK and Spain.