There was a certain irony in the fact that many of the colonial writers returned to Europe in time for the Great War. They had spent much time on the little-known battlefields of the empire, convinced that life’s real frontiers could only be encountered in Africa and India, not in the comforts of European civilization. ‘Chivalry could not attain full stature in a milieu of pavements and chimney-pots’, Edmund Candler had remarked scornfully.( 1 ) Yet suddenly the world which they had affected to despise for its security was engulfed in war and, worse still, in social change and revolution.