Thread: Literary issybird Vote June 2014
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Old 06-01-2014, 02:43 PM   #1
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issybird Vote June 2014

Help us choose the June 2014 selection to read for the MR Literary Club! The poll will be open for three days.

The vote is multiple choice. You may vote for as many or as few as you like.

The rotating nominator (this month - issybird) may not vote in the poll.

A discussion thread will begin shortly after a winner is chosen.

In the event of a tie, there will be a one-day non-multiple-choice run-off poll (where the rotating nominator again may note vote). In the event that the run-off poll also ends in a tie, the tie will be resolved by the rotating nominator.


Select from the following works:


Fighting on the Home Front: The Legacy of Women in World War One by Kate Adie
Spoiler:
A chronicle of the ways in which women's lives changed during World War I and what the impact has been for women today, 100 years later. This book details how when World War I broke out and a generation of men went off to fight, women emerged from the shadows of their domestic lives. They began to take up essential roles, from transport to policing, munitions to sports, entertainment, even politics. They had finally become citizens, a recognized part of the war machine, acquiring their own rights and often an independent income. Charting the seismic move toward equal rights with men that began a century ago, this book asks what these women achieved for future generations. Full of original research and archival material, it brings the remarkable stories of women's experiences from domestic service to the industrial workplace, the hospital, the land, politics, and the aristocracy to life.


A Diary without Dates by Enid Bagnold
Spoiler:
Bagnold, of National Velvet fame, published her short account of her experiences as a war nurse in 1917 and was fired as a result. Free at Project Gutenberg.


Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain
Spoiler:
Much of what we know and feel about the First World War we owe to Vera Brittain's elegiac yet unsparing book. Abandoning her studies at Oxford in 1915 to enlist as a nurse in the armed services, Brittain served in London, in Malta, and on the Western Front. By war's end she had lost virtually everyone she loved. Testament of Youth is both a record of what she lived through and an elegy for a vanished generation. Hailed by the Times Literary Supplement as a book that helped “both form and define the mood of its time,” it speaks to any generation that has been irrevocably changed by war.


A Nurse at the Front: The First World War Diaries of Sister Edith Appleton, Ruth Cowen (ed.)
Spoiler:
Edith Appleton served as a nurse in France for the whole of the conflict. Her diary details with compassion all the horrors of the 'war to end wars', including the first use of poison gas and the terrible cost of battles such as Ypres, but she also records what life was like for nurses and how she spent her time off-duty. There are moments of humour amongst the tragedy, and even lyrical accounts of the natural beauty that still existed amidst all the destruction.


The Roses of No-Man’s Land by Lyn Macdonald
Spoiler:
'On the face of it,' writes Lyn Macdonald, 'no one could have been less equipped for the job than these gently nurtured girls who walked straight out of Edwardian drawing rooms into the manifest horrors of the First World War ...'
Yet the volunteer nurses rose magnificently to the occasion. In leaking tents and draughty huts they fought another war, a war against agony and death, as men lay suffering from the pain of unimaginable wounds or diseases we can now cure almost instantly. It was here that young doctors frantically forged new medical techniques - of blood transfusion, dentistry, psychiatry and plastic surgery - in the attempt to save soldiers shattered in body or spirit. And it was here that women achieved a quiet but permanent revolution, by proving beyond question they could do anything. All this is superbly captured in The Roses of No Man's Land, a panorama of hardship, disillusion and despair, yet also of endurance and supreme courage.


We That Were Young by Irene Rathbone
Spoiler:
This fierce anti-war novel is told from the perspective of a cultured former suffragist and several of her friends- young women who work at rest camps just behind the lines in France and as nurses of the severely wounded in hospitals in London. When Joan loses both her brother and lover to the war, in anger at the enemy she volunteers for work in a munitions plant- but by the end, she is a confirmed pacifist


Home Fires Burning: The Great War Diaries of Georgina Lee, 1914-1919, Gavin Roynon (ed.)
Spoiler:
Written for her baby son, Georgina Lee’s diaries offer a comprehensive, day-by-day account of the First World War on the British Home Front. From the panic of August 1914 to the euphoria of 1919, Mrs. Lee faithfully recorded the war's impact on civilian life, from the rush to hoard food and stock-market mayhem to conscription and air raids.


Not So Quiet… by Helen Zenna Smith (pseudonym of Australian Evadne Price)
Spoiler:
Helen Smith, one of "England's Splendid Daughters", is an ambulance driver at the French front. Working all hours of the day and night, witness to the terrible wreckage of war, her firsthand experience contrasts sharply with her altruistic expectations. And one of her most painful realisations is that those like her parents, who preen themselves on visions of glory, have no concept of the devastation she lives with and no wish for their illusions to be shaken
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