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We Are at War by Simon Garfield

We Are at War

Biography / Autobiography   The Real World   
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Sarah Broadhurst's view...

The diaries of five people during the Second World War, an unmarried secretary, a mother with evacuated children, a social worker, a salesman and a writer. It illustrates the very human side and in many ways a very ordinary side of an extraordinary period as they live their lives but reflect on times. A memorable and highly absorbing work.
Who is Sarah Broadhurst


We Are at War by Simon Garfield

'Snowdrops have been in flower for weeks. Violets are still waiting to bloom. Broad beans are showing their heads perkily. But I forget. We are at war. The boys in the village are leaving one by one.' Maggie Joy Blunt We Are At War continues Simon Garfieldâs successful formula of interweaving five ordinary lives from the Mass-Observation archive begun with Our Hidden Lives. Of all the accounts written about the Second World War, none are more compelling than the personal diaries composed by those who lived through it.

Beginning in the weeks before the war, and ending a year later with the Battle of Britain, the book will tell the story of the ‘phoney warâ on the home front.

The five ordinary diarists are: Pam Ashford, an unmarried secretary at a large Glasgow shipping merchant; Tilly Rice who moves her children to safety in Cornwall, but returns to her home in Surrey just as the bombs start to fall; Eileen Potter, a social worker in central London; Christopher Tomlin, a God-fearing salesman doing the rounds in Preston; and Maggie Joy Blunt, familiar to readers of Our Hidden Lives as an elegant and reflective writer.

About the Author

Simon Garfield

Simon Garfield was our Guest Editor in October 2012 - click here - to see the books that inspired his writing.

Simon Garfield is the author of fourteen acclaimed books of non-fiction including On the Map, Just My Type and The Wrestling. His edited diaries from the Mass Observation Archive, Our Hidden Lives, We Are At War and Private Battles, were bestsellers, and his study of AIDS in Britain, The End of Innocence, won the Somerset Maugham prize. He lives in London and St Ives, Cornwall.

Author photo © Sarah Lee

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Book Info

Publication date

29th September 2005


Simon Garfield

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Ebury Press




Biography / Autobiography
The Real World



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