Viv has been interested in social history since primary school, when her teachers commented upon her "very many questions".
In her doctoral research on women's poetry of the First World War Viv uncovered a treasure trove of long-forgotten women's poems. These widen our knowledge of women's wartime lives, their concerns, and their contributions to the war effort and subsequent Victory.
Viv has taught women's war poetry in both academic and non-academic settings and speaks widely at history conferences (both national and international). She gives talks to a variety of audiences ranging from First World War devotees of organisations such as the Western Front Association as well as to Rotarians, Women's Institutes and U3A. She has lectured in the USA.
As well as writing articles about women during the First Word War, Viv has numerous books either already or soon to be published.
"We Also Served: The Forgotten Women of the First Word War", published in 2014, explores women's uniformed and un-uniformed lives between 1914 and 1918, uncovering how women's contribution to the war effort made victory possible, or , as one contemporary newspaper put it, "Why not VCs for Women?"
In "Nursing Through Shot & Shell: A Great war Nurse's Diary", published 2015, Viv takes the reader to the battlefields of Belgium & France to place Beatrice Hopkinson's war diary completely in context - from her transition from Nottinghampshire chamber maid to trainee fever nurse, to casualty clearing stations and ever closer to the Front Line. Finally, in 1918, Beatrice is part of a rapid response unit sent to wherever the fighting is most fierce, and hence where the wounded threaten to overwhelm the medical services.
"Tumult and the Tears", published June 2016, tells the story of the Great War through the eyes and lives of its women poets. Each poem is placed within the context of its author and Viv provides the the background to why it was written, to whom and the story it seeks to tell - from patriotism, to grief, denial to anger, all is explained. Reviews have described it as very moving.
"Seductress, Singer, Spy", publication October 2017, takes you deep into the undercover world of women spies and explains why an Italian resident in Switzerland was spying for Germany in Marseilles ... and how she met her end in January 1918.
Plans for 2018 include publication of "Suffragism and the Great War" which explores the fascinating story of how the women involved in the pre-war suffrage, and indeed the anti-suffrage, movements used their undoubted skills to further the war effort and advance their causes. Contrary to 'received wisdom' suffrage activity was not suspended for the duration but continued in many subtle ways. And, of course, 2018 is the centenary of women's partial enfranchisement.
And for 2019.... "The Children's War 1914-1919" which explores British and Allied children's wartime lives.