The Forbidden Zone by Mary Borden 1st / 1st 1929

The Forbidden Zone by Mary Borden 1st / 1st 1929


London: William Heinemann Ltd (1929). One of the classic accounts of the war by the author when she was serving as a nurse on the front line. This is a near fine copy. The scarce wrapper is mostly complete and is unfaded. There is small amount of wear to the corners and spine ends. It hasn’t been price clipped displaying the correct price of 6/- net to the inside flap. The book has some rubbing to the edges and browning to the first free end paper otherwise it is in nice condition. It is a highly collectible copy and scarce with its original dust wrapper.


At the outbreak of the War in 1914, Borden used her own considerable money to equip and staff a field hospital for French soldiers close to the Front in which she herself served as a nurse from 1914 until the end of the war.


The Forbidden Zone (1929), published in the same year as A Farewell to Arms, Good-Bye to All That and All Quiet on the Western Front, it was released to critical acclaim. Even in this context, contemporary readers were disturbed at the graphic - sometimes hallucinatory - quality of work coming from a woman who had first-hand experience of life on the front line.


The Forbidden Zone contains five long poems that describe what Borden saw and did working in the military hospital. In her haunting poem ‘Unidentified’ she exclaims “The flare of cannon light his dying, the mute and nameless men beneath his feet will welcome him beside them in the mud. Take one look and leave him standing there, unfriended, unrewarded and unknown.” A scarce title with its jacket and particularly so in this condition.