Edward Knoblauch invested his work with an indefatigable sense of the trivial. In Knoblauch's case, the idea of having been given some high creative gift was to him a joke; as a Harvard-educated homosexual New Yorker he was something of an outsider in the society of pre-war Britain. When war was declared, Knoblauch was enjoying considerable success, living a comfortable bachelor existence in a suite of rooms in the Albany; a well-recognized and well-regarded figure about town. As an American of uncertain health Knoblauch was refused military service. He initially supported the war effort by writing plays and sketches for war charities and matinees, including a patriotic recruiting sketch for actor-manager Seymour Hicks, England Expects. Privately, Knoblauch confessed to feeling directionless, a sentiment compounded by the war. Touchingly patriotic but sceptical, witty but depressed, Knoblauch's writings during the war are a strange combination.