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The Birdcage

Clive Aslet

The Birdcage by Clive Aslet

Salonika in 1916 is a city more than half-Jewish and, until a few months ago, one of the jewels in the Ottoman crown. It is now suddenly Greek. Nominally neutral, it is filled with French, British and Serbian soldiers defending it against the Austro-German and Bulgarian forces to the north. In a city seething with intrigue, cafe society continues unperturbed and the native inhabitants make from the soldiers what money they can. Young nurses from the Women’s Hospital join seasoned soldiers, and Kite Balloonists must trade their traditional chivalry towards the enemy against the need to survive.

RRP: £8.99
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781910985007
Publication Date: 16/06/2016
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Clive Aslet
Clive Aslet, Editor at Large of Country Life, is an award-winning writer and journalist. He writes extensively for papers such as the Daily Telegraph, the Daily Mail and the Spectator...


‘A fabulous yarn…a twisty, pacy plot.’

The Times

‘Aslet is an entertaining writer…he can tell a tale very engagingly.’

The Spectator

‘Aslet writes superbly well, his prose touched with irony like Vermouth in a good martini…His mines, laid with such apparent artlessness, go off one by one as the book approaches its surprising and satisfying conclusion.’

Country Life

‘While conflict and danger lurk a little way offstage, Aslet's cast of dreamers, adventurers and plotters put on a stylish and entertaining tragi-comic show.’

The Independent

‘Aslet's elegant first novel captures the complexities of the period while telling a good yarn with verve and humour. ’

Mail on Sunday

‘Great look for Aslet's 1916 story set in Salonika, a nominally neutral city which is filled with French, British and Serbian soldiers... ’

The Bookseller

‘Clive Aslet beautifully captures this Alice-In- Wonderland town in a novel bursting with comedy and drama. Brave balloonists, fiendish spies, gypsies and a bevy of nurses – there is more than a hint of Blackadder. Written with a countryman’s eye for ground, and for horses, the campaign is described in a laconic style reminiscent of the contemporary reporting. The perfect book for a Greek holiday – or to cheer you up when you get back.’

The Lady Magazine

‘ Evocatively painted...engaging and believable.’

Aerostat Magazine

On The Blog

The Scottish nurses of Salonika

It’s one of the great untold stories of the First World War: the courage of a redoubtable group of Scottish women who travelled to Greece and Serbia 100 years ago...