One of the more balanced and insightful, but also more serious works of Saki, When William Came takes place in a then future Britain that has lost the fight during WWI, and was conquered by Germany. Although the war had not yet started, Saki, like many other political idealists at the time, managed to see it coming, and wrote this exceptional novel as somewhat of a warning to the British aristocrats of the time.
Written in 1914, and based after the fall of a fictional post-WWI Brittain, this cautionary and extremely well-written story follows the tale of the main character Yeovil, recently returning from a rather long stay in Russia, and discovering a defeated Britain where the situation has become dire. The political insight brought forth from Yeovil's discussions with those he meets reflect in a great variety of ways on the pre-war situation that Britain had face at the time the novel was written.
As valuable as a well-polished relic, the book mirrors Saki's brilliant and insightful writing style, making it seem like there are always new layers upon layers to be discovered as the reader dives continually deeper into the plot. The characters and the presentation of their emotions, thoughts and opinions associated with the political arena of the age are all depicted in an extremely genuine and detailed fashion.
While the novel is obviously more serious than Saki's other works, it does not fail to showcase his wit and ability to captivate the readership. Many of those who have followed the characters' struggle and progress throughout the story have considered it to be brilliantly written, developing a fondness and sense of empathy towards them.
When William Came continues even after a century to capture younger readers' attention and inspire them to pay more careful attention to the political arena of today, and learn from the mistakes of the past to try building a better future
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