The Wars

The Wars Study Guide

The Wars is a 1977 novel by Timothy Findley about the experiences of a young Canadian officer in World War I. Findley dedicated the novel to his uncle, Thomas Irving Findley, who fought in the First World War and survived. Findley drew upon letters his uncle had sent, as well as his verbal accounts of life on the front, to draw an image of the war in the novel. Findley reportedly spent a few days on a farm in Ontario, trying to remain warm and clean. Here he gained new respect for how cumbersome mud can make day to day life. Findley also educated himself on the various campaigns that took place in Europe during the times the novel takes place and even sought out a military historian to ensure that the events of the war had been chronicled accurately.

The novel took about six months for Findley to complete and went on to win the Governor General's Award for fiction in 1977. A film adaptation, which Findley also wrote, was made in 1981. A theatrical play version of the novel was produced by Dennis Garnhum in 2007.