Another contribution to the growing body of work on women's experience of war, Joyce Marlow's anthology collects a broad spectrum of women's writings on the First World War. Extracts from diaries--published and unpublished--autobiographies, letters, newspapers, and memoirs jostle for the reader's attention, carrying the voices of an equally diverse range of women from Britain, the USA, France, Germany, and Russia.
Nurses, train drivers, bank clerks, munition workers, policewomen, a "woman diplomatist", patriots, campaigners for peace: the list could go on, and the strength of this book is the scope and interest of the material it makes available (notably, extracts from previously untranslated German anthologies). Marlow includes a general introduction, together with brief notes to each section (one for each year of the war) and a guide to contributors-- some well known, others apparently unknown beyond their fleeting, if sometimes vivid, appearance here.
There is some attempt to arrange material within the annual sections: various subheadings--"Off to War", for example, "Nursing and Bloody Madness", "Air Raids and Rations", "Sex and Cinema Violence", "The Latest Excitements in Britain and Ireland"--do help to orient the reader. Nevertheless, it can be difficult to gauge the time, place, and purpose of the many different kinds of extracts included here--the inevitable weakness, perhaps, of such a wide- ranging anthology. --Vicky Lebeau
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Fascinating ... these first-person female memories are social history at its most compelling (SCOTSMAN
What emerges most strongly, and much more clearly than ever before from this wonderfully lively and engaging anthology is the extraordinary diversity of the occupations adopted by women (Mark Bostridge, TLS
A true labour of love (Kate Figes, WOMAN'S JOURNAL
An interesting and well-chosen selection of contemporary accounts. (LITERARY REVIEW