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"Mr. Bechhofer Roberts and Mr. Forester have written a remarkable play, telling without sentimentality, and so simply, the moving story of Edith Cavell, that we forget controversy. She is, throughout, an individual."
The British Journal of Nursing
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Nurse Cavell is special because it is the only story C.S. Forester wrote together with a co-author, C E Bechhofer Roberts.
The story of Edith Louisa Cavell (1865-1915) is well-known and well preserved. She has been called the Florence Nightingale of WWI and England's Joan of Arc. Edith Cavell was an English nurse who served as the head matron for the Berkendael Medical Institute in Brussels before the war, training nurses. The institute became a Red Cross hospital as soon as the war began in August 1914 and it cared for Belgian, French, British, and German wounded. In addition to providing medical care Cavell assisted about 200 British, French, and Belgian soldiers to cross the border into neutral Holland between November 1914 and July 1915. Cavell was betrayed by a spy and the German police arrested her in August 1915 and charged her with providing aid to the enemy. Cavell readily admitted her participation in helping Allied soldiers escape at her October 1915 court-martial. The court found her guilty and condemned her to death. She was shot on 12 October together with Philippe Francois Victor Baucq (1880-1915), a Belgian architect who served as a guide for the escaping soldiers.
In this play Nurse Cavell, C.S.Forester again dramatizes the role of duty to one's country, and expands its role to include all mankind. Nurse Cavell, a play in three acts, was published by John Lane the Bodley Head in 1933. Authors are C. E. Bechhofer Roberts and C. S. Forester. There was no American edition. As in many of C. S. Forester's books such as the Hornblower Saga, Nurse Cavell is largely centered around individual self-sacrifice of 'common people' for a good cause, in WWI.
Included in this volume, Dr. Reijenga has created an extensive Foreword detailing the circumstances surrounding the execution of Nurse Cavell in October 1915.