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The Diaries of Nella Last: Writing in War and Peace

The Diaries of Nella Last: Writing in War and Peace [Kindle Edition]

Robert Malcolmson , Patricia Malcolmson
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £12.99
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Product Description


'A fantastic story' -- Victoria Wood

'My gut feeling is that Nella will come to be seen as one of the major twentieth-century English diarists.' -- David Kynaston, author of 'Austerity Britain'

'Whatever her mood, Nella Last has the quality shared by all great diarists: of making her readers feel that however vast the differences between her life and ours, they are easily outweighed by the shared experiences of love and loss, disappointment and hope, that she describes with such artless humanity.' -- Daily Mail

'An excellent correlative to the mantra 'everyone has a novel in them'. Some people are natural diarists and Nella is one of the best ... She also used literary language in an entirely naturalistic way.'-- Sunday Herald

'An epic journal ... What brings her diaries to life is their unpretentious freshness and honesty.' --Scotsman

Book Description

A collected edition of bestselling author Nella Last's diaries, including substantial never-before published material from the war years

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1334 KB
  • Print Length: 462 pages
  • Publisher: Profile Books (27 Sep 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0091X6VQY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #60,847 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Diaries of Nella Last 8 Nov 2012
I was disappointed with this new edition: much of the background detail from Broad and Fleming's edition is missing so there's hardly any detail about Nella Last's budgeting and scrimping, food prices, cooking, housekeeping and general 'dodges' - and this is surely what makes her diaries so unique. It also misses out interesting happenings such as the arrival of the premature baby and the way Nella coped during the dreadful 1940 winter. There's also an irritating lack of the word 'the' at the beginning (admittedly a minor moan). Granted, there's far more background and different material but I don't think this improves the selection: Nella Last's strengths were her ability to keep house, cook, budget, cope and make do on a small amount of money, and although the Malcolmsons retain just enough information that new readers can get the general idea of how she operated, they also miss out a lot of useful information on the difficulties of cooking and housekeeping during the war years and postwar austerity.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great addition to my Nella Last collection 16 May 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
With my obsession for all things concerned with the WW2 domestic homefront I had to have this book as an addition to my other Nella last books, especially as we lived in Barrow a few years ago. Although large parts of the book are repeated information from previous books, there is enough new stuff to make this worth reading and there are also new photos.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good stuff but something missing? 7 Oct 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Bought this book for the new wartime material, having read and enjoyed the previous three volumes. However, there seemed to be an inordinate number of articles missing which made the text jarring and slightly incomprehensible. I left a review here about this, and said that it didn't seem to be Nella's style (compared to the previous volumes) to leave 'the' and 'an' out so abundantly. One of the editors then left a message to say it 'definitely was her style' to do this. I still stand by my observation though and wonder why I have never noticed this in any of her other writing - particularly the original wartime diaries (published in the 1980s), which would have been written at the same time. Has anyone else notice this?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars GOOD INSIGHT INTO WOMENS WAR 28 Sep 2013
By poppy
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Although I have never read these books before I feel like I have joined the story halfway through, I could not buy Nella Lasts first bock as it was unavailable on kindle so I feel that this book is heavily edited and doesn't give you a real feel of her relationship with her husband and fellow wvs workers however that said I have enjoyed the book and it has given me a lot of insight into what war was like for women although I think Nella lived in a very middle class world that was a vastly different experience to that of my mother in the land army overall a enjoyable book
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating 22 Jun 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Am totally fascinated by Nella Last. Have read all previous books and although parts of this book I had already read in the other three I still enjoyed reading about the trials and tribulations of a normal person through the 30s, 40s and 50s, the decades which really changed the world.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating 20 April 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
An interesting story in so many ways.
Her writing blossoms over time and the minutae of the entries gives an insight into life for ordinary people during these years.
One is constantly surprised by views that we rarely see remembered elsewhere in documentary or fiction never mind biography.
The task of the editors must have been mountainous but we get to feel that we know the woman and her worries.
the only regret is that this edition does not cover the period when her son is wounded.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More insights from the pen of Nella Last 30 Dec 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The diaries of Nella Last have been a great discovery and there is a lot more material to be uncovered. It is unfortunate that she did not live to see the posthumous fame which she achieved. Her ambition to be a writer was a realistic one. In many ways her life was an unhappy one: trapped in what was essentially a failed marriage and with an uncertain relationship with her gay son who emigrated to Australia to become a sculptor (whether she recognised he was gay is unclear, although there are hints that she did). But for all these family difficulties, and against a background of austerity and hardship, she made the best of life, drawing solace from the beauty of the Lake District and her cats.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Housewife 49 30 May 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I watched the film on television and enjoyed Victoria Wood's performance. Having read the diary it gives far greater insight to Nella Last. They should have made a short series rather than one film. A memorable read, highly recommended.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read
Item was just as it was described, I appreciate the fast delivery, item was well packed, good seller. Many thanks.
Published 5 months ago by D
4.0 out of 5 stars Really riveting read
I saw the TV production of Nellie's diaries and so was vaguely familiar with the writer and her family and the period. Excellent.
Published 8 months ago by Alexander McKay
4.0 out of 5 stars The Diaries of Nella Last Last: Writing in War and Peace
I was really looking forward to reading this book especially after seeing the TV drama Housewife 49. Read more
Published 9 months ago by jillwroe
2.0 out of 5 stars Nella Last
I was so disappointed with this book. I so enjoyed the TV drama of her life in the war, but I found the book very dry and not an easy read. I gave up very quickly
Published 12 months ago by Ms. A. Manser
5.0 out of 5 stars Diaries of nella last
It is a really interesting book I really enjoyed reading this book
Would highly recommend this book to anyone who likes history
Published 15 months ago by michelle duffield
4.0 out of 5 stars Started well but got a wee bit samey
I enjoyed the first 3/4 of this book, but I am sad to say it became a bit weak at the end. Having said that I am still glad i bought it.
Published 15 months ago by moira sharpe
5.0 out of 5 stars Nella Last and her diaries
You feel you know Nella . Fantastic story. Let's hope they edit more of her diaries. I miss the diaries when I have finished reading them.
Published 17 months ago by TGSimpson
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