January 2015 Non-Fiction Book of the Month.
Interest in Bletchley Park has reached dizzying and glamorous heights, so to read a realistic rather than romanticised picture of fifteen women who spent time there is utterly compelling. These Bletchley Park veterans are from various backgrounds, they have widely different memories and experiences, however there is a vein of steadfastness and true spirit that weaves through and marks these women apart. The author introduces backgrounds, routes to, life at and perhaps with most impact, life after Bletchley Park. It does take a little time to get to know and differentiate between the fifteen women, as memories are mixed together on a time line rather than each individual story being highlighted. Even though this is a rational, practical trip down memory lane, from the tip of the Official Secrets Act, to the toe of the continuous repetition of most of their roles, you can not help but be thrilled by this glimpse into a truly fascinating world. ~ Liz Robinson
Based on extensive interviews conducted specifically for this book, Tessa Dunlop tells the story of The Bletchley Girls through the lives of fifteen women who were all selected to work in Britain's most secret World War Two organisation - Bletchley Park. Many were just school girls at the outbreak of war; the next six years would change their lives forever. This vivid portrayal of their experiences, sacrifices and memories is a poignant reminder that without the work of thousands of young women Bletchley Park's extraordinary achievements would not have been possible. By meeting and talking to these fascinating female secret-keepers who are still alive today, Tessa Dunlop captures their extraordinary journeys into an adult world of war, secrecy, love and loss.
Boasting an average age of ninety, the fifteen veterans featured in this book are not just Bletchley girls – they are also the children of the Armistice, the schoolgirls of the thirties, the housewives of the fifties, and the grandmothers of the digital age. Their lives have been profoundly marked by two world wars, and the world into which they were born is now as distant as that of ancient Rome. Until now, Bletchley’s narrative has been predominantly a male one – one only has to think of the recent film The Imitation Game to be aware of that. By 1944, however, women outnumbered men three to one at Bletchley, yet it is only now that these wonderful women are enjoying their long-overdue fifteen minutes of fame. Published to coincide with the 70th anniversary of VE Day in 2015, this is a remarkable piece of oral history, which sets the seal on the vital operations that eventually led the Allies to victory.
Publication date: 08/01/2015
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton Ltd an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton General Division
|Publication date:||8th January 2015|
|Publisher:||Hodder & Stoughton Ltd an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton General Division|
|Genres:||NewGen - YA Fiction, Biography / Autobiography, Books of the Month, eBook Favourites, History,|
Award winning broadcaster and historian, Tessa Dunlop has presented several series and one-off documentaries for BBC TV including 'Thames Shipwrecks', 'Coast' and 'Inside Out'. She has authored and presented several documentaries for Radio 4 and the BBC World Service and has written for almost all the major national newspapers. She received the Gertrude Easton History prize whilst at Oxford University, got a 1st in her MA: Imperialism and Culture and has been awarded a PhD scholarship at Sheffield Hallam University. Author photo © Patrick DoddsMore About Tessa Dunlop