Angelo, a private in Mussolini's 'ever-glorious' Italian army, may possess the virtues of love and an engaging innocence but he lacks the gift of courage. However, due to circumstances beyond his control, he ends up fighting not only for Italy but also for the British and German armies. With his patron the Count, the beautiful Lucrezia, the charming Annunziata, and the delightful Major Telfer, Angelo's fellow characters are drawn with humour, insight and sympathy, making the book a wittily satirical comment on the grossness and waste of war. Eric Linklater, who served with the Black Watch in Italy in World War II, is one of Scotland's most distinguished writers. In Private Angelo he has written a book which demonstrates that honour is not solely the preserve of the brave.