The literary culture of the early 20th century led a surprising number of women to write about their experiences, recording everything from their emotional responses and political impulses to their new experiences of the world of work. In this book, writings by women as diverse as Sylvia Pankhurst, Virginia Woolf and Vesta Tilley are blended with extracts from the private diaries and letters of "unknown" women, to provide a fully rounded picture of the First World War as it was lived and fought by women across Britain.
Contemporary perceptions of life during World War I have been almost exclusively formed by the experiences of soliders in the trenches. With the notable exception of Vera Brittain, women's writing of the years 1914-1918 has not been widely available and this refreshing anthology seeks to redress this omission. World War I radically altered the fabric of many women's lives and created a blueprint for change that was to prove decisive. Culling a wide variety of source material, the excerpts in this invaluable volume record the thoughts of women both famous and unknown, blending fact and fiction to create a truly comprehensive picture of how war in all its guises affected their lives. Sad, comic and bittersweet in turn, the eclectic range of experience encompassed here achieves its aim admirably. (Kirkus UK)