Showing posts from February, 2021

"Freebooters of the Balkans" in Land & Water 1916 by Jan Gordon

Land & Water, March 16 1916 carries a piece by Jan Gordon on "Freebooters of the Balkans," a subject he expands on in the book,  " A Balkan Freebooter: Being the True Exploits of The Serbian Outlaw and Comitaj Petko Moritch . "  Here below is the text. FREEBOOTERS OF THE BALKANS. [Mr. Jan Gordon, the writer of this article, acted as engineer to Dr. Berry's Serbian Mission from the Royal Free Hospital. He was in the Balkans for six months and more, and travelled widely both in Serbia and Montenegro, taking part in the great retreat. He and his wife, who was also attached to the Mission, have just published, through Messrs. Smith Elder and Co., an account of their wanderings entitled "The Luck of Thirteen," illustrated by themselves, both of them being artists.] IN modern armies we have now discarded the freebooter, but in the Balkan States they have not yet learned that the undisciplined auxiliary is of little use in the warfare of today, and here t

The Flight from Serbia by Jan Gordon, 1915

After watching the WW1 sequences in "Tolkien" last night, I found myself revisiting some of the WW1 writings of Jan and Cora Gordon . Their early Serbian experiences in the war were documented in "The Luck of Thirteen." An interesting and appreciative review of the book appears in Land & Water, 23rd March 1916, as follows:  " Mr. and Mrs. Jan. Gordon, wandering in Serbia, have perpetuated an exceedingly inconsequent volume in The Luck of Thirteen (Smith Elder and Co., 7s. 6d. net), which is as scrappy as a feminine conversation, and at the same time thoroughly fascinating. Here and there the grimness of war stands out with startling realism, and the fate that has befallen Serbia is tragically limned in vivid sentences, then one is caught away from horrors by the femininity of "Jo," and again interested in some Serbian Comitaj or Biilky municipal dignitary. It is all "live" and full of the spirit of courage and energy in a time of utter t