At the outbreak of World War I, Dominic Langton leaves his wife on a remote sheep farm in New South Wales to enlist in the British Army. What he experiences in the trenches changes him forever; his return home sees him cast off his past and find his own integrity. He has seen the true nature of war-the senseless waste of life, the millions of young men condemned to pointless slaughter-and has emerged a wiser, but troubled, man. When Blackbirds Sing is a masterful recreation of the vanished world of 1914, and a moving and powerful testament to the devastation of war. In this final instalment of Martin Boyd's celebrated Langton Quartet, Boyd confirms his reputation as one of the most outstanding novelists Australia has ever produced.
* Extract from Chris Wallace-Crabbe's introduction to be placed in Australian Book Review or similar literary magazine * Review coverage in major broadsheet papers to coincide with 100th anniversary of the beginning of WWI * Advertisements in literary and current affairs publications such as ABR and the Monthly * Advertisements in bookseller newsletters * Banner advertising on bookseller websites * Banner advertising on Text website
Martin a' Beckett Boyd was born in Switzerland in 1893 into a famous family. His brothers Merric and Penleigh were to become artists, too. Merric's son Arthur was to become a famous painter, and Penleigh's son Robin became an architect and the author of The Australian Ugliness. After leaving school Martin Boyd enrolled in a seminary, but he abandoned this vocation and began to train as an architect. At the outbreak of World War I, he sailed for England where he served in the Royal East Kent Regiment and the Royal Flying Corps. Boyd eventually settled in England after the war. His first novel, Love Gods, was published in 1925. Three years later The Montforts appeared, under the pseudonym Martin Mills. Following the international success of Lucinda Brayford in 1946 Boyd decided to return to Australia where he wanted to restore his grandfather's house, but by 1951 he was back in London. In the coming decade he was to write the Langton Quartet: The Cardboard Crown, A Difficult Young Man, Outbreak of Love and When Blackbirds Sing. In 1957 he went to Rome, where he lived and continued to write until his death in 1972.