Curious History

17 October, 2017
Curious History

Augustin. My Battle of Loigny

We should consider ourselves lucky to live in these days, when battles or not too frequent or spread. Of course, with some exceptions. Still, some of us, who are now respectable seniors, had the misfortune to see and be a part of terrible wars. They were fought maybe most because of too large egos, subjecting innocent people to sufferance, despair, poverty and death in many cases. Settlements were destroyed, families dismantled, and the economy crushed. This is a small part of witnessing a war. And the Franco-Prussian war was well-known because of the large numbers of victims and destruction it made. Augustin, a respectable manager, and his family is forced by circumstances to live in a castle turned into a hospital for the war victims. The picture outside can kill any moral.

The author, Jean-Louis Riguet, wished to show the story of a cruel world through a more personal perspective, using the eyes of a citizen, father, and war survivor at the same time. The story of a war always manages to bring a shiver to anyone hearing it, but the story is seen through the eyes of someone that witnessed the atrocities is even more marking. But even though it is a book that presents cruel scenes, the author, a skilled writer, does not start the story in an abrupt or brutal manner. He wishes for the reader to enter the scene properly and feel the personal air of the story. Thus, he decides to start the book with an introduction, presenting the main character, Augustin, in modern days, at his job, very many years after the war ended. Also, with a large variety of descriptions, he describes the building, the surrounding, and the location, through Augustin’s eyes, adding to all of them a bit of his personality.

AugustinBattleLoigny_FrontIn the same extraordinary and descriptive manner, the author will present how the small town of the battle, name Loigny-la-Bataille, was before the war started. All the images are shown through the thoughts, memories and experiences of Augustin, as a property administration, without the official title. He was very skilled in most duties, making him be appreciated by the landlord. Also, he mediated the relationships between the landlord and the local people. So we can say that, back in those days, he had a well-respected job, just like he does in present days, at almost seventy years old. But Augustin remembers talking with his wife, Emiliene, about the ways things were starting to go wrong in the country since Napoleon III declared war to the Prussians. They were worried about what was going to happen and how would it affect their happy and quiet lives. They had no children, but their closest friends, a young couple, adopted an abandoned little girl, found in the opened field. This girl, Louise, considered Augustin to be just like a grandparent for her, which brought a lot of joy to him.

So how will the cruel war disturb this happy family? How will Louise grow and find happiness in a world shattered by violence and useless fights? The answers lie within the pages of the book, so well written and crafted by the author.

Augustin. My Battle of Loigny is available at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1770764739

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