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Miss Carter's War by Sheila Hancock

Miss Carter's War

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Sarah Broadhurst's view...

The actress’s first novel, we know she can write from her autobiographical work, the award-winning The Two of Us about her life with John Thaw amongst them. This is a chronicle of English society through the second half of the 20th century seen through the life of Marguerite struggling to recover from her experiences with the French Resistance during the Second World War. We go through the lot from her degree from Cambridge (one of the first women to get one) to Aldermaston marches, drugs, hippies, punks, Churchill’s funeral, women’s lib, the permissive society, frozen food, gay liberation, AIDS; you name it, Marguerite was involved. But she must leave all that to find her happiness. I think the author has had great fun remembering it all.

Sheila Hancock will be discussing Miss Carter’s War with Kate Mosse at the Bloomsbury Institute on Thursday 23rd October. Click here to find out more and to book tickets.

If you like Sheila Hancock you might also like to read books by Eva Rice, Sue Gee and Joan Bakewell.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst

The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. A moving and lyrical evocation of life in post-war Britain seen through the eyes of an impassioned teacher, Sheila Hancock’s debut novel is richly enjoyable and suffused with humanity. In 1948 Britain is still recovering from the ravages of the Second World War and Marguerite Carter, a former SOE operative, has returned to England to become an English teacher. Half French, half English, she is a glamorous but credible figure, intent on combating social injustice wherever she encounters it and educating the girls in her care. From the prism of her perspective, the reader travels through the 1950s peace marches, flower power of the sixties, and on through to the rise of Thatcher and the battle for gay rights. Combining a flair for social statement with a strong narrative flow that also evokes much nostalgia for a bygone era, Hancock has created a likeable heroine and a novel of real distinction.
~ Amanda Hodges

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Miss Carter's War by Sheila Hancock

It is 1948 and Britain is struggling to recover from the Second World War. Half French, half English, Marguerite Carter, young and beautiful, has lost her parents and survived a terrifying war, working for the SOE behind enemy lines. Leaving her partisan lover she returns to England to be one of the first women to receive a degree from the University of Cambridge. Now she pins back her unruly auburn curls, draws a pencil seam up her legs, ties the laces on her sensible black shoes, belts her grey gabardine mac and sets out towards her future as an English teacher in a girls' grammar school. For Miss Carter has a mission - to fight social injustice, to prevent war and to educate her girls.


'Startlingly good . she is remarkably good at evoking period and place.'

- Sunday Times on THE TWO OF US

'An impressive and affecting work of art.'


'Her writing is starkly honest . she is never less than courageous and often desperately moving.'

-Daily Telegraph

'Infused with humanity, self-perception and honesty ... It is the stuff of bestsellers.'

-Guardian on JUST ME

'The writing remains so strong that one hopes there is more to come.'

-Daily Telegraph, Books of 2008

'Heartbreakingly moving . wise, funny and deeply touching.'

- Daily Mail

'Magnificent Sunday.'

- Times, Book of the Year

About the Author

Sheila Hancock

Sheila Hancock is one of Britain’s most highly regarded and popular actors, and received an OBE for services to drama in 1974 and a CBE in 2011. Since the 1950s she has enjoyed a career across film, television, theatre and radio. Her first big television role was in the BBC sitcom The Rag Trade in the early 1960s. She has directed and acted for the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre. Her first book, Ramblings of an Actress, was published in 1987.

Following the death of her husband, John Thaw, Sheila Hancock wrote a memoir of their marriage, The Two of Us, which was a no. 1 bestseller and won the British Book Award for Author of the Year in 2004. Her memoir of her widowhood, Just Me, also a bestseller, was published in 2008. She lives in London and France.

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Book Info

Publication date

9th October 2014


Sheila Hancock

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