CHARACTERS Millions Like Us Women's Lives During the Second World War 100

SUMMARY Millions Like Us Women's Lives During the Second World War

CHARACTERS Millions Like Us Women's Lives During the Second World War 100 ´ [PDF / Epub] ★ Millions Like Us Women's Lives During the Second World War By Virginia Nicholson – In Millions Like Us Virginia Nicholson tells the story of the women's Second World War through a host of inEw up in Yorkshire and Like Us Women's ePUB #10003 Sussex She studied at Cambridge University and lived abroad in France and Italy then worked as a documentary researcher for BBC Television Her books include the acclaimed social history Among the Bohemians Experiments in Livingand Singled Out How Two Million Women Survived Without Men after the First World War both published by Penguin in and She is married to a writer has three children and lives in Sussex. I found this a fascinating window into women's lives in WWII The author follows many women from a wide variety of social classes occupations and backgrounds through the war including the introduction of female conscription I found it hard to keep track of all the women and so didn't feel much connection to many but the overall picture of the changes demanded of women and how that did and didn't change society as a whole as well as what changed back after the war were very interestingly portrayed I also found the reality of their lives surprisingly different from how that period it is portrayed in the media today

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Like PDFEPUB or ever guessed Millions Like Us tells the story of how these women loved suffered laughed grieved and dared how they re made their world in peacetime And how they would never be the same again 'Vividly entertaining uplifting and humbling Millions Like Us deserves to be a bestseller' Bel Mooney The Daily Mail 'Passionate fascinating profoundly sympathetic' Artemis Cooper Evening Standard Virginia Nicholson was born in Newcastle upon Tyne and gr. This is a highly readable anecdotal account of British women's experiences during World War II It's a worthy addition to the shelf of similar books but there's nothing new here in information or insight

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Millions Like Us Women's Lives During the Second World WarIn Millions Like Us Virginia Nicholson Us Women's PDFEPUB #236 tells the story of the women's Second World War through a host of individual women's experiences We tend to see the Second World War as a man's war featuring Spitfire crews and brave deeds on the Normandy beaches But in conditions of Total War millions of women in the Services and on the Home Front demonstrated that they were cleverer broad minded and altogether complex than anyone had Millions. This is awesome on audio It's something like a full cast production a narrator plus four other actresses who with different accents uote from the many diaries and memoirs the book draws on With these distinctive voices it's easy to recognise each woman as another excerpt appears and to follow each of their stories through the years The variety makes it easier to concentrate than on some audiobooks with just one narratorWhen I first started listening to Millions Like Us in August 2018 I felt the book was basically perfect As an audio production I still think it is I didn't want it to end I found it comforting and supportive at a difficult time and tremendously interesting In September October 2019 I listened to the rest and still got a lot out of it However after an extra year of reading left wing political content online I found myself noticing that there was no mention that I heard of any BAME women the BAME population of the UK was not high in the 40s but there were some servicewomen; see for example here or of women who had relationships with black GIs and that there was hardly anything about lesbian life except for one brief negative mention There were two diarists who lived together and one can't be entirely sure whether they were a lesbian couple or straight 'surplus women' contested term from the WWI generation sharing a home There's an account of one diarist's experience in the Women's Timber Corps which was by other accounts a favourite for lesbians going into the services though this particular diarist was straight and she doesn't allude to lesbians in what's uoted here While the selection of diarists is limited in those respects and there is a leaning towards the upper and middle classes because women from those backgrounds had the time to keep diaries and the confidence to publish memoirs there is also a range across the class spectrum including working class women like Nella Last and others who'd signed up to the Mass Observation project Many different experiences are covered including members of all the services open to women as well as workers in offices and factories; housewives students socialites artists and writers like Virginia Woolf Some stories which still stand out for me three months after finishing the book Although I'm very interested in wartime food production and the home front my favourite thing on this is the BBC series Wartime Farm there was not much new about those in Millions Like Us so it was other subjects that caught my eye The nearest to an idyllic life among these diarists was probably Frances Partridge an upper middle class woman living with her husband and family in a rural area able to grow uite a lot of their own food The biggest worry she had was learning to cope without servants as maids left to do better paid war work Helen Forrester's books were ubiuitous in public libraries when I was growing up in the 1980s and 90s I'd always assumed they were family sagas of the Catherine Cookson type and snobbishly avoided them Forrester is uoted extensively here and it turns out several of those books were memoirs She grew up in a crowded impoverished family in Liverpool and wanted to escape by getting a better education working for a charity and getting married so she could leave home But during the war no fewer than three successive boyfriends of hers died When she could no longer afford to work for the charity she was forced into office work where a male manager insisted that women workers must not have bare legs but had to wear stockings famously expensive and difficult to obtain Forrester led collective action against this declaring that they would leave en masse if he continued to insist With most male staff already lost to conscription and and women going into war work he had no choice but to back down One of the wildest adventures in this book was that of Mary Cornish a professional musician who volunteered to accompany a shipload of evacuees to Canada; they were torpedoed by a U boat and Cornish and several little boys survived over a week in a lifeboat she leading singalongs to keep their spirits up until she could no longer speak The Blitz is such an object of nostalgia in England that one rarely hears about its real horrors Artist Frances Faviell had volunteered as a nurse; her knowledge of anatomy gained at art school was useful often employed to reassemble dead bodies for burial from piles of limbs heads and other less identifiable lumps of meat Walking home one night after an air raid she was commandeered by a doctor and ARP wardens at a bomb site from which horrible sounds were coming Faviell was very slight so would be able to fit lowered upside down into the small space where someone was trapped Inside was a man crushed to a bloody mess his face so injured it was barely possible to distinguish the mouth from the rest of one gaping red mess Pulled back to the surface she threw up before being lowered back down holding a bottle of chloroform and a cotton mask; there was of course nothing else they could do for the man and there were many like this who had to die alone and unanaesthetised Reactions to the war from well known writers were sometimes uite in characterWoolf's rather chilling diary entry on watching a dogfight overhead during the Battle of Britain It would have been a peaceful matter of fact death to be popped off on the terrace playing bowls this very fine cool sunny August eveningBarbara Cartland organised among other things a scheme for the reuse of wedding dresses and after the war travelled to Switzerland to get dress fabric one way to escape the strictures of rationing for those who could afford it Barbara Pym surprisingly turned out to be a snob saying there are no people like us here not at all what I expected from this chronicler of genteel poverty Two young women's wartime lives revolved around drama with men but at the end of the war each found herself on the path to important work of her own Onetime art student Anne Popham seemed to think about little except her relationship with an older man separated but taking his time to agree to a divorce He died in the war though After peace was declared Popham went to Germany to work on the restitution of artworks stolen by the Nazis and as her confidence grew she rose to the rank of Major In the book are also her accounts of the severe poverty homelessness and food shortages widespread in Germany conditions like those currently associated with the most wartorn developing countries Phyllis Noble took advantage of the sexual freedom created by the war and stretched people's patience to the limit cheating on her safe steady fiance leaving him and going back to him until he'd had enough and also having a series of flings including with male colleagues at the bank where she worked A night class incorporating feminist ideas and then a serious illness started to change her outlook Feeling repentant she turned up for career guidance at a post war advice centre and too shy to say she a working class girl wanted to be a doctor said simply that she wanted to do something really worthwhile The clerk replied What like social work She said I suppose so She went on to become not only a frontline social worker helping to implement the new welfare state but a researcher and textbook author under her married surname of Willmott; her husband Peter was another social worker and later an influential academic sociologist Someone who had a lot fun with men during the war was socialite Joan Wyndham a fabulous character who had worked out how to treat these ephemeral connections as sport than an emotional investment during her time in the WAAF and who is here given a deep purring voice that only adds to the sense of her as an adventuress and gay icon among her circle At the end of the war as a celebration she went to a horse race and won £200 on an outside bet It was as if she brought me good luck too; only a few minutes after listening to this very bit I unexpectedly won £185 much less in today's money of course as a result of a routine offer in matched betting She went on to have a series of absurd jobs including one for a manufacturer of fishtank ornaments and managing a hotel whose proprietors turned out to be international criminals all excellent material for such a Soho raconteur I hope I have time one day to read Wyndham's memoirs And might have enjoyed them even in my twenties Lorna Bradey a nurse on board ships around Africa and Italy had some stirring stories of tending the wounded and standing up to textbook cases of arrogant surgeons But what was perhaps most interesting as social history was her return home at the end of the war Countless novels feature taciturn men who returned after WWII failing to understand the conditions at home or the experiences of other family members Bradey wrote that Britain looked drab after sunny climes; her family simply didn't understand what she'd been through and listened with polite interest at best When she arrived she unwittingly ate a whole week's butter ration at one meal and when she went to find her clothes she was cross that her sister had taken them not yet realising how severe clothing rationing was The public impact of the Beveridge Report on its publication in 1942 was considerable something often lost when histories concentrate only on the politics of the war itself and a cross party consensus sprung up towards implementing at least some of its recommendations; no one had forgotten the Jarrow Marches as one speaker said It gave people an additional sense of something worth fighting for It seems to land suddenly in the middle of Nicholson's narrative an unexpected bright promise from and of another world while everyone is caught up in the grind Nicholson gives the impression of popular currents of feminism over the course of the war whereby at first women were liberated and energised including some even feeling freer due to the loss of possessions in the Blitz but that towards the end increasing numbers were longing for traditional roles and the return of husbands from the front dreams perhaps fostered by popular reading material like Georgette Heyer novels How often these were the same women with both sets of opinions at different times it's hard to say from the authorial narrative sections on public mood especially in audio but at this time most feminist intellectuals opposed the idea of the housewife who had no other occupation But what I hadn't heard or considered before was that some working class former housewives called up to do war work in occupations vacated by men struggled to juggle a job on top of housework childcare and shopping that had to be done in person in fixed locations at limited times Ration books were registered to specific shops and shopkeepers were resistant to changing their opening hours Work meanwhile could be miles away on other side of town Many informal childcarers were now in work themselves and small children had to be supervised by older ones who would these days be considered much too young to babysit Women demonstrated for nursery provision but were not taken seriously Out of women's dissatisfaction with shopkeepers and the continuation of rationing after the war emerged the Housewives' League begun by a disgruntled vicar's wife's letter to a newspaper I'd only studied party politics of the era before and this was something that had previously passed me by a curious phenomenon whereby what looked initially like a united voice of many women fed up that their needs and effort were barely recognised uite swiftly mutated into a strongly conservative organisation for those not prepared to sacrifice any to help create the new welfare state There is plenty of interesting detail here from both sides of the 1945 general election Naomi Mitchison a name familiar to me from late 20th century childhood anthologies bookshelves and newspapers was also a Labour activist and wife of a candidate The party could be disappointingly traditionalist and tried to shoehorn her into a wifely role during campaigning but she asserted the significance of her own career and was only intermittently present usually dressed in scruffy bohemian style This did not inhibit her husband from becoming an MP unseating a young John ProfumoOne of the most amusing stories in the book was from Nina Mabey an Oxford student and Labour campaigner in the constituency of future Old Labour stalwart Ian Mikardo who tried to persuade a fellow student one Margaret Roberts possessor of a pretty china doll's smile against the Conservative Party Roberts reportedly replied that whilst Labour was fashionable at the moment the Conservatives gave one a better chance of getting into parliament because the party members were stodgy and it was easier to stand out An interesting feature of 1940s feminism found in the ideas of several women in the book from Virginia Woolf early in the war right through to those helping rebuild Germany was to see Nazism and other atrocities of war as simply an extreme form of masculinity and in the same vein were expressions of horror at the atom bombs dropped on Japan Post war work for international peace and to make boys and men as individuals less aggressive and peaceful were seen as part of the same endeavour One can see the roots of the Greenham Common protest movement in thisMost of the women in Millions Like Us experienced nothing so horrific and unrelenting as the Soviet female soldiers whose stories are related in Svetlana Alexievich's The Unwomanly Face of War Something parochial Anglophone readers could do well with exploring And of course the personal stories of British women who had the very worst wartime experiences are missing here perhaps to make this over all an inspiring rather than a disturbing book though certainly not an insipid one If that is something you are looking for with the proviso that this is not the full story and that these British women were over all luckier than their 1940s counterparts in many other parts of the world it can be fascinating enjoyable and companionableListened Aug 2018 Sept Oct 2019; reviewed Jan 2020