The 1940's House

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9780752272535: The 1940's House

A Yorkshire family experience World War II by living in a semi-detached house in Kent and having a committee of historical experts, a nutritionist and veterans of the Home Front, controlling how they live. They can withdraw foods, requisition their car, and even limit how much bath water they use. The accompanying book is a diary of the family's experience, and also a comprehensive account of the Blitz years in Britain. It includes many firsthand accounts from people around the country. It is a fascinating account of a time in British history when the whole country was involved in the war effort, and people's lives were transformed by the Home Front.

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About the Author:

Juliet Gardiner is a historian specialising in this period, and an experienced writer for a popular audience. She is also the author of THE EDWARDIAN COUNTRY HOUSE. Norman Longmate has long been established as Britain's authority on the Home Front, and is the author of many books on the subject.

Review:

We would not take kindly today to advice on how to put out an incendiary bomb in the hall, keep an eye out for enemy agents, eat prunes to keep "regular" and make do with mock bananas and whale meat. Such was household life in World War II. Much along the best-selling lines of The 1900 House, Channel 4 will recreate in a four-part series and the accompanying book what it was like for a family to experience the war, with all the controls exercised by the government over food rationing, the "dig for victory" appeal, mobilisation of women, even the propaganda for women to "stay lovely for him" despite make do and mend, clothing coupons and exhaustion. Books were in short supply. Sixty years on, amid a glut of titles, this one carries an appeal which extends beyond nostalgia, being a living piece of history, evocatively illustrated and concluding with an appendix on "how to research your house's war."

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Juliet Gardiner
Published by Channel Four Books H/B (2000)
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