We are excited to announce that And the World Went Dark: An Illustrated Interpretation of World War I is now available from Casemate!
This beautiful and evocative book gives an illustrated overview of the First World War, on land, on sea and in the air. With original drawings in full color, author and illustrator Steven Patricia uses 30 years’ experience as a historical illustrator to give an informative and insightful account of the war, portraying the human faces of the participants and capturing moments in time with a vividness and immediacy that brings home both the emotional impact and the tragedy of war.
Accompanied by soldier’s diary extracts and other contemporary literature, there are many drawings of the hardware of war: aircraft and airships, submarines and ships, guns and grenades. We also get a glimpse of weary officers relaxing in an RAF mess, see panicking sailors swimming desperately away from a sinking ship, soldiers stumbling across no-man’s land, and the dramatic scene of one of last great cavalry charges of any war, in Egypt. The role of animals is featured, including the importance of horses and rescue and messenger dogs. The text gives a concise introduction to the events of the war and why it started, with maps of the different fronts where fighting took place and a diagram of a trench system. Designed for readers with little familiarity of the conflict, this is a unique and unmissable book in the centenary of the ‘war to end all wars’.
To learn more about the work and process in creating this book, we asked author Steven Patricia some questions.
What fascinates you about revisiting the past and bringing it to life in a book?
The past always has relevance. Such relevance is often buried in data (names, dates, places—the facts that most non-historians find dull and boring). When history is presented as a human story of struggle, adventure, discovery, or just simple daily living, the viewer can become engaged in the “story” and perhaps see a reflection from their own world.
How much research did you do for the book?
My research covered a 6 year time span (not 40 hours a week but filtered throughout my life). I didn’t have an exact plan but as I followed various threads of information, the book began to evolve and develop a life of its own. New and unexpected avenues of information would just appear and I collected everything that I found “interesting” or would cause me to think, “I never knew that before!” The thinning out process is the most difficult—knowing when to quit. It is very much akin to the design process in architecture. Design never ends, there is always a better way or different direction that might yield “a greater level of perfection”. But there has to be an end-point, a deadline where the product must be completed.
Why did you decide to write this book? What prompted you to put this story down on paper?
When I read the diary accounts and comments from the people who were there, I was struck by the vividness of their stories. The images I saw from those words just had to be produced.
What do you like most about your book? Why should we read it?
I tried to be a faithful interpreter of the words that conveyed so much human emotion and experiences that many people would like to think could never happen here or in our time. I think I was mostly successful in my attempt and I believe that I have produced some of my best artwork in the effort.
And the World Went Dark is available from Casemate Publishers and where all books are sold.
$25.00 | Hardback | 98 pages | Fully Illustrated Throughout | 9781612003481