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A title such as "A Soldier's Sketches Under Fire" indicates at once the nature, scope and limitations of this unpretentious volume of annotated drawings to which it has been given. Faked pictures of the war are plentiful. Sketches taken on the spot they depict, sometimes by a hand that had momentarily laid down a rifle to take them, and always by a draughtsman who drew in overt or covert peril of his life, gain in verisimilitude what they must lose in elaboration or embellishment; are the richer in their realism by reason of the absence of the imaginary and the meretricious. All that Mr. Harold Harvey drew he saw; but he saw much that he could not draw. All sorts of exploits of which pictures that brilliantly misrepresent them are easily concoctable were for him impossible subjects for illustration. As he puts it himself, very modestly: "There were many happenings-repulsions of sudden attacks, temporary retirements, charges, and things of that sort that would have made capital subjects, but of which my notebook holds no 'pictured presentment,' because I was taking part in them." He also remarks: "Sketched in circumstances that certainly had their own disadvantages as well as their special advantages, I present these drawings only for what they are." Just because they are what they are they are of enduring interest and permanent value. They have the vividness of the actual, the convincing touch of the true.
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