King Albert's Book was a tribute to the Belgian King and people, published by subscription in December 1914.
The book was the idea of Hall Caine, a novelist and playwright of the late Victorian and Edwardian eras, to raise money for the Daily Telegraph Belgium fund. He invited princes, statesman, churchmen, authors, political activists, artists and composers to present their view of the tragedy that had befallen Belgium in the preceding months of war.
Contributors include Winston Churchill, Thomas Hardy, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Sarah Bernhardt, Emmeline Pankhurst and Rudyard Kipling. The result is an extraordinary snapshot of a moment in time and the passions aroused by the conquest of Belgium and the resistance led by King Albert.
As the book was being prepared in the Autumn of 1914, no one knew how the tragedy of the First World War would unfold - there was still hope that it would all be over fairly swiftly. What seemed to be a heroic defence of a sovereign state was the primary concern of the book's contributors, little knowing how long the conflict would continue and how the greater tragedy of the war would supersede this event.
This final episode, narrated by the writer and producer Paul Dodgson, includes a statement by French philosopher Henri Bergson, an account of wounded Belgium soldiers in England by Mary Cholmondeley, and a history lesson by Professor Paul Vinogradoff.
Readers: Kenneth Cranham, Tim McMullan and Harriet Walter
Pianist: Kevin Matthews
Narrated and Produced by Paul Dodgson
A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.