copyright 1916; Barse & Hopkins publishers, New York; smaller hardbound in green boards and gilt lettering on cover and spine; very good condition with unmarked pages; no dust jacket.
During the First World War (1914-18) the Red Cross movement and its work for the sick and wounded in wartime entered the popular realm, popping up in plays, novels, poems, sketches, and other cultural products. Robert Service’s 1916 volume of poetry The Rhymes of a Red Cross Man (Toronto: William Briggs) is one of the best known examples of this phenomenon.
British-born Robert W. Service was a phenomenally successful poet of the early twentieth century. He spent more than a decade and a half living on Canada’s West Coast, and made his name and his fortune with his 1907 collection of poetry, Songs of a Sourdough, which centered around the Klondike gold rush.
Service relocated to France in 1913, wealthy and wildly popular with ordinary readers (although not with literary critics). When the First World War began he was 41 years old and too old to enlist in the military. Instead, he worked as a war correspondent for the Toronto Star for a month and a half, then served for several months as a stretcher bearer for an American Red Cross ambulance corps in France.