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on 29 July 2013
Came very quickly and in good condition. Am really enjoying reading it, much to learn of that period. Will definitely recommend it.
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on 3 September 2007
During the recent serialisation of this book on BBC Radio 4 I was reminded of three very remarkable amd memorable women teachers that I was fortunate enough to encounter at Secondary School over 40 years ago. Obviously at that time I was among many who referred to these elderly spinsters - the youngest of whom was 45 - rather unkindly, in the colloquialisms of the day as "past it", "never had a life", "frustrated", "left on the shelf", "needed a good seeing-to" etc., without ever realising the privations that they must have suffered nor the heavy personal loss that they once bore, be it of a much loved father, brother, uncle or fiance. Yet these women stoically "got on with it" and led fulfilling lives as single, professional women.

Now, through Vera Nicholson's book, which tells the story of the two-million surplus women, we know "why"....
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on 8 October 2007
I was looking at a different book by this same author on Amazon in the US, and they linked to this book, but it was only available in the UK. It cost me almost $50 US dollars, but it was one of the best purchases I will ever make because it changed my life. I know that seems like a dramatic statement, but it is the absolute truth. I am one of the "generation x'ers" so for me the women in this book are of my Great Grandmothers generation, but what amazing women they were. I had always admired my Great Grandmother for her honesty, her stoicism, and now I see that it was not just her, but an entire generation of women. I realized how very much that I have to be thankful to these women for. How much they changed the world, because they had no choice. They were not going to just sit back and let the world go on without them, they changed the world in ways that I am still feeling today. Virginia Nicholson did a wonderful job, this book made me think. It made me think about the past and there future and it made me realize that I have to do something for all the girls who will come after me. I changed my University major to Women's Studies after reading this book and I am so grateful. This book opened my eyes and changed my view of the world. I am still very young and hopefully have a long road in front of me, but this book made me realize that we are all alone in this world and no one can live your life for you, so you have to seize the day and take chances.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 21 September 2008
This is a wonderful book - very moving and touching in places, very inspiring and admirable in others. It's about the generation born just before the turn of the century, who were raised to believe that being a wife and mother should be the sum total of their ambitions and then found after WWI that there simply weren't enough men to go around and most of them would never marry. It's about how they faced that, how some rose above the difficulty to become leaders of their sex, how many entered public life and fought against male prejudice, and how in the end it's likely that the war and the two million 'surplus women' actually hastened the equal rights movement and the equality of the sexes. A very very good book and one every woman should read.
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on 8 May 2010
I had high hopes of this book because it is such a fascinating topic so rarely touched on; the aftermath of WW1 is a rich subject usually looked at from the political and economic perspective. My problem with the book was that it was a little too much in the way of "popular history" without enough background to enrich it. I am being harsh and I have read much around post war history so maybe the problem is mine - I just think it needed more depth - i found it too superficial. It was oral history written up without the academic investigation - it would make wonderful tv or radio. Anyone inspired to read more on the aftermath of the war on society should seek out Arthur Marwick.
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on 6 August 2014
One of the best books about the effects of the First World War.As a child these women played a big part in my life,all single and very caring.
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on 6 December 2014
It was very interesting how the ordinary girl of that time & the quite well off girls managed their lives being single.
It seems if you were quite 'well off' you coped pretty well, but not so the 'not so well off' The normal working families who were what were called 'working class' were very judgemental towards these poor girls, even up to the 60's . It was a very interesting book & would be a good idea for school children to read.
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on 30 September 2008
As Virginia Nicholson righly points out, many of the women left without men following WW1 were often forgotton about or viewed as a problem. Ms Nicholson has done a wonderful job of describing both the achievements of these women and the prejudices they faced. The book is extremely well-researched - the author has sought out survivors of this period, and reached into diaries, letters, news reports, literature, problem pages, etc.

However, the book feels like a missed opportunity. The women's stories are rarely accompanied by any critical analysis or historical background - the book often descends into hero worship. I would have also appreciated biographies of some of the key individuals in the book.

This book is certainly worth reading for anyone interested in the topic, but it left me wanting to know more.
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on 1 October 2014
I thought this book would be really depressing, but Virginia Nicholson describes how it wasn't all doom and gloom for the young women left behind after World War 1. This book charts how many women went on to have successful careers and how, without them, women today would probably not be quite so liberated. The easy writing style makes this book a really good read. Recommended.
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on 21 December 2012
This I bought for myself - it is just the sort of book I read and look forward to doing so.
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