A Biography in Verse: Sir Charles 'Plevna' Ryan (1853-1926)

By Geoff Page

Why have we no biography, three hundred pages, dense with footnotes, boasting your achievements? He was a Melbourne surgeon. He worked for the Ottoman Empire in the Russo-Turkish War. He was the oldest man at Gallipoli, and took illegal photographs during a nine-hour truce. He repaired Ned Kelly after the Siege of Glenrowan. He cut quite a figure in "Marvellous Melbourne" of the 1880s and 90s. He did remarkable things. He wrote it all down. In this verse-portrait of Sir Charles Snodgrass 'Plevna' Ryan (1853 - 1926), Geoff Page weaves the writing of Ryan together with his own voice as biographer, setting down the life of a man forgotten by history at the same time as reflecting on his role as intermediary. Page's sensitive investigation into the lost life of Charles Ryan probes broader topics of mortality, posterity and collective memory. Written in second person and in verse, Page reflects both on the power and the unreliability of storied lives. *** Unique, compelling, informative, deftly organized and presented, "Plevna: A Biography in Verse" is an extraordinary read from beginning to end and unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library Biography/Memoir collections, as well as to the attention of non-specialist general readers with an interest in the Russo-Turkish War and the Battle of Gallipoli." -- Midwest Book Review, MBR Bookwatch: August 2016, Greenspan's Bookshelf~[Subject: Biography, Poetry, History]

Publication Date: 7/1/2016
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9781742588209