Debs at War: How Wartime Changed Their Lives, 1939-1945

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9780297829300: Debs at War: How Wartime Changed Their Lives, 1939-1945

Pre-war debutantes were members of the most protected, not to say isolated, stratum of 20th-century society: the young (17-20) unmarried daughters of the British upper classes. For most of them, the war changed all that for ever. It meant independence and the shock of the new, and daily exposure to customs and attitudes that must have seemed completely alien to them. This book will record, in their own voices where possible, the extraordinary diversity of challenges, shocks and responsibilities they faced - as chauffeurs, couriers, ambulance-drivers, nurses, pilots, spies, decoders, factory workers, farmers, land girls, as well as in the Women's Services. How much did class barriers really come down? Did they stick with their own sort? And what about fun and love in wartime - did love cross the class barriers?

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About the Author:

Fiona Mountain is in her thirties. She grew up in Yorkshire, then moved to London where she worked at the BBC for nine years as a press officer, primarily for Radio One. She now lives in the Oxfordshire countryside and runs a PR agency. She is married to composer Tim Mountain and has three young sons.

Review:

'it produces some unforgettable cameos.' -- Miranda Seymour THE SUNDAY TIMES 'a wonderful slice of social history' -- Kathryn Hughes MAIL ON SUNDAY 'DEBS AT WAR stands or falls on the quality of of their anecdotes. And, mostly it stands. The experiences of these women are so different from our own that they make pretty moreish reading.' -- Mary Wakefield DAILY TELEGRAPH 'This colourful slice of social history.' -- John Koski YOU MAGAZINE 'a glorious yarn, a mixture of derring-do,make-do and eye-popping innocence.' -- Edwina Currie THE NEW STATESMAN 'DEBS AT WAR is happy, sad, intermittently very funny and consistently engaging.' -- Matthew Dennison THE SPECTATOR 'DEBS AT WAR is funny, moving and inspiring, and will be a valuable addition to the many social histories published about the Second World War.' IRISH EXAMINER 'As a historical, eyewitness account it is engrossing and informative in its detail: as a testament to the robustness and apparent heedlessness of youth, it is illuminating. A thoroughly engaging read.' -- Ally Cardozo THE FIELD 'hugely enjoyable... fascinating.' IMAGE MAGAZINE 'it makes riveting reading... it is in the detail that you will find its interest and charm, and both are considerable.' -- Diana Athill LITERARY REVIEW

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