Brian Dillon

The Great Explosion

The Great Explosion

Gunpowder, the Great War, and a Disaster on the Kent Marshes


In April 1916, a fire started in a vast munitions works located in the marshes of Kent. The resulting series of explosions killed 108 people and injured many more.

In a brilliant piece of storytelling, Brian Dillon recreates the events of that terrible day - and, in so doing, sheds a fresh and unexpected light on the British home front in the Great War. He offers a chilling natural history of explosives and their effects on the earth, on buildings, and on human and animal bodies. And he evokes with vivid clarity one of Britain's strangest and most remarkable landscapes - where he has been a habitual explorer for many years. The Great Explosion is a profound work of narrative, exploration and inquiry from one of our most brilliant writers.

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