Margot Asquith's Great War Diary, 1914-1916: The View from Downing Street, ed. Michael Brock & Eleanor Brock. Oxford University Press, 2014. e-book.

Margot Asquith was one of the first great political wives, apart of course from all the consorts of kings from the Conquest onwards. Her diary has the immediacy of the slap-dash and is rich with penetrating sketches of the great and good of the times. It also captures the utter horror of the War, and the dawning realization in 1915 that it was truly horror and that its end lay far in the future.

The editors have worked hard, too hard, to ensure that the reader understands every nuance. The result is a book unsuited to electronic form. It is annoying constantly to be interrupted by the editors' commentary, and easy to get lost trying to navigate among the text of the diary, the exhaustive and to some extent repetitive reminders supplied so liberally by the editors, as well as the numerous notes and appendices. The book shows that e-book publishing needs to learn how to use technology to improve the reader's experience.

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