Friday, April 10, 2020

THE WORLD WAR II NON-FICTION LIST


Last week, I posted my new "World War II Fiction List" (see here), which replaced and updated the fiction part of my old "World War II Book List" here. As promised, here is the replacement and update for the remaining part of that list, including primarily diaries and memoirs by women from my master list, but also including some other stray works of non-fiction that may be of interest (and also a few diaries or memoirs by women not on the main list but of particular interest).

This list, too, has a fair number of new additions from the research I've done in the past few years, and I hope you enjoy exploring it. Please let me know if I've left anything out or made any glaring errors!

UPDATED 4/23/2020 (thanks to all those who made suggestions!)



RUTH ADAM, A Woman's Place 1910-1975 (1975) NON-FICTION
Chronicles the changing roles of women in the 20th century, including during both world wars.

MARGERY ALLINGHAM, The Oaken Heart (1941) DIARY/MEMOIR
Golden Age mystery author's memoir of English village life in the early days of the war.

VERILY ANDERSON, Spam Tomorrow (1956) DIARY/MEMOIR
Humorous account of love and marriage against the backdrop of war. Reviewed here. Available as a Furrowed Middlebrow reprint.

LUCILLA ANDREWS, No Time for Romance (1977) DIARY/MEMOIR
Powerful memoir of wartime London by a nurse and future romance novelist. Relied upon by Ian McEwan in writing Atonement.

BETTY ARMITAGE, Betty's Wartime Diary 1939-1945 (2002) DIARY/MEMOIR
War diary of a former theatrical dresser and seamstress.

DOROTHY BADEN-POWELL, They Also Serve: An SOE Agent in the WRNS (2004) DIARY/MEMOIR
Memoir of a woman who worked in the Scandinavian section of the Special Operations Executive, sending agents into occupied Norway, and was subsequently recruited to track down enemy spies in the WRNS.

ENID BAGNOLD, Autobiography (1969) DIARY/MEMOIR
Memoir of the acclaimed and controversial novelist and playwright.

MONICA BALDWIN, I Leap Over the Wall: Contrasts and Impressions After Twenty-eight Years in a Convent (1949) DIARY/MEMOIR
Memoir of a Catholic nun adapting to secular life again, with the twist that her departure from the convent takes place in October, 1941.

MARGARET BANNING, Letters from England, Summer 1942 (1943) DIARY/MEMOIR
An American's perspective on how war affected women's lives.

SYBIL BANNISTER, I Lived Under Hitler (1957) DIARY/MEMOIR
Details Bannister's wartime experiences as the wife of a German.

MIRREN BARFORD & JOCK LEWES, Joy Street: A Wartime Romance in Letters, 1940-1942 (1995) DIARY/MEMOIR
Letters, discovered by her son after Barford's death, chronicling her ill-fated wartime romance with an army officer.

EVELYN BARK, No Time to Kill (1960) DIARY/MEMOIR
Memoir including her war experiences, including her experience in the Red Cross as one of the first to enter Belsen concentration camp after the war.

E. M. BARRAUD, Set My Hand Upon the Plough (1945) DIARY/MEMOIR
Covers Barraud's experiences in the Women's Land Army.

EDITH BASE, Dearest Phylabe: Letters from Wartime England (1996) DIARY/MEMOIR
Letters from a Londoner to her friend in the U.S., covering 1941-1947.

DOREEN BATES, Diary of a Wartime Affair (2016) DIARY/MEMOIR
Diary of a passionate office affair between a young woman and her older colleague, from the mid-1930s into the war.

SYBILLE BEDFORD, Quicksands: A Memoir (2005) DIARY/MEMOIR
Novelist's autobiography, including her experiences during the war.

THEODORA BENSON, Sweethearts and Wives: Their Part in War (1942) NON-FICTION
Illustrated book about women at war by the novelist and humorist.

CHRISTABEL BIELENBERG, The Past Is Myself (1968) DIARY/MEMOIR
Memoir of an Englishwoman married to a German man and living in Germany. Dramatized for television as Christabel.

CHRISTABEL BIELENBERG, The Road Ahead (1992) DIARY/MEMOIR
Sequel to The Past Is Myself, dealing with the postwar years.

EDITHA L. BLAIKLEY, "No Soldier": The 1942 Diary of Miss Editha Blaikley of Wren Cottage (1992) DIARY/MEMOIR
Diary of wartime life in a Sussex village, by a novelist and playwright.

URSULA BLOOM, War Isn't Wonderful (1961) DIARY/MEMOIR
Prolific romance author's memoir of wartime life.

VIOLET BONHAM-CARTER, Champion Redoubtable: The Diaries and Letters of Violet Bonham Carter, 1914-1945 DIARY/MEMOIR
Second volume of the diaries of the daughter of Prime Minister Herbert Asquith, covering both World Wars.

MARY BORDEN, Journey Down a Blind Alley (1946) DIARY/MEMOIR
Author's account of running a British field hospital in the Middle East during WWII.

MARY BOSANQUET, Journey Into a Picture (1947) DIARY/MEMOIR
Account of the author's trip through Italy in the final year of World War II.

PHYLLIS BOTTOME, The Mansion House of Liberty (1941) DIARY/MEMOIR
Described as "snapshots of England at war" (aka Formidable to Tyrants).

EDWARD BRAITHWAITE et al., The Home Front: The Best of Good Housekeeping 1939-1945 (1987) NON-FICTION
Anthology of wartime pieces from Good Housekeeping.

PAMELA BRIGHT, Life in Our Hands (1955) DIARY/MEMOIR
Memoir of a nursing sister who was at D-Day and went with the Allies into Germany.

JOAN BRIGHT ASTLEY, The Inner Circle: A View of War at the Top (1971) DIARY/MEMOIR
Memoir of the war years by a woman who managed British conference delegations and witnessed meetings at the highest levels.

VERA BRITTAIN, England's Hour (1941) DIARY/MEMOIR
Testament of Youth author's memoir of the early days of WWII.

VERA BRITTAIN, Wartime Chronicle: Diary 1939-1945 (1989) DIARY/MEMOIR
Brittain's diary of the war years.

BRYHER, The Days of Mars: A Memoir 1940-1946 (1972) DIARY/MEMOIR
Recollections of the war by the historical novelist and supporter of the avant-garde.

NANCY CALDWELL-SOREL, The Women Who Wrote the War (1999) NON-FICTION
Biographical work about women journalists who covered World War II.

IRIS CARPENTER, No Woman's World: On the Campaign in Western Europe, 1944-45 (1946) DIARY/MEMOIR
Account of the final days of the war in Europe by a trail-blazing journalist.

BARBARA CARTLAND, The Years of Opportunity: 1939-1945 (1948) DIARY/MEMOIR
Prolific romance novelist's memoir of the war years.

CATHERINE MARY CHRISTIAN, The Big Test: The Story of the Girl Guides in the World War (1947) NON-FICTION
Popular girls' author takes a look at the Guides' role in the war.

AGATHA CHRISTIE, An Autobiography (1977) DIARY/MEMOIR
Includes interesting detail about author's wartime experiences.

OLIVIA COCKETT, Love & War in London: A Woman's Diary, 1939-1942 (2005) DIARY/MEMOIR
Diary of a young woman working at Scotland Yard in wartime—and carrying on a clandestine affair with a married man at the office.

IDA COOK (aka MARY BURCHELL), We Followed Our Stars (1950, aka Safe Passage) DIARY/MEMOIR
Powerful memoir of the Cook sisters' trips into Nazi Germany just before WWII to help Jewish friends escape.

DIANA COOPER, Trumpets from the Steep (1960) DIARY/MEMOIR
Memoir of the war years by the famous Lady Cooper, who encountered many of the most prominent people of the time.

MONICA COSENS, Evacuation: A Social Revolution (1940) NON-FICTION
Based on Cosens' survey of London mothers and young children in reception areas in 1939.

VIRGINIA COWLES, Looking for Trouble (1941) DIARY/MEMOIR
American journalist's account of her experiences as a war correspondent in 1936 to 1941, including the Spanish Civil War and the beginning of World War II.

MARGARET CRISP, Utility Nurse (1947) DIARY/MEMOIR
Details her wartime experiences as a Red Cross nurse.

CLEMENCE DANE, The Shelter Book (1940) NON-FICTION
Subtitled "A Gathering of Tales, Poems, Essays, Notes, and Notions…for Use in Shelters, Tubes, Basements and Cellars in War-Time."

THERESA DE KERPELY, Of Love and Wars (1984) DIARY/MEMOIR
Memoir of her entire life, but including her dramatic wartime experiences in Budapest, including concealing, along with her cellist husband, a Jewish composer disguised as a priest.

E. M. DELAFIELD, People You Love: On the Status of the Family Under Nazism (1940) NON-FICTION
Only 30 pages in length, Delafield's contribution to World War II propaganda.

ELIZABETH DENHAM, I Looked Right: On the Author's Experiences as a British Agent in France (1956) DIARY/MEMOIR
Describes her adventures aiding the French resistance before and after she is captured after looking the wrong way before crossing a street.

MONICA DICKENS, One Pair of Feet (1942) DIARY/MEMOIR
A sequel of sorts to One Pair of Hands, this one follows Dickens through the tribulations of nursing in wartime.

VERA DOUIE, Daughters of Britain: An Account of the Work of British Women During the Second World War (1950) NON-FICTION
Early summary of women's war work.

MADELAINE DUKE (pseudonym of ???), Top Secret Mission (1954) DIARY/MEMOIR
Memoir of a "girl agent" searching for missing German atomic scientists.

LEONORA EYLES, Eating Well in Wartime (1940) NON-FICTION
Novelist's foray into cookbooks, helping families cope with rationing.

LEONORA EYLES, For My Enemy Daughter (1941) DIARY/MEMOIR
A series of letters—which couldn't be sent—to Eyles' daughter, living in Italy with her Italian husband during the war years.

NAN FAIRBROTHER, Children in the House (1954) DIARY/MEMOIR
Memoir of the author's experiences evacuating with her two sons from London to a house in the Buckinghamshire countryside.

FRANCES FAVIELL, A Chelsea Concerto (1959) DIARY/MEMOIR
Vivid and powerful account of life in London during the Blitz. Essential reading. Reviewed here. Available as a Furrowed Middlebrow reprint.

FRANCES FAVIELL, The Dancing Bear (1954) DIARY/MEMOIR
Memoir of life in Germany in the years immediately following the war. Reviewed here. Available as a Furrowed Middlebrow reprint.

RACHEL FERGUSON, Royal Burrough (1950) DIARY/MEMOIR
Ferguson's humorous second memoir about life in Kensington (following the pre-war Passionate Kensington), this one covering the war years.

JOSEPHINE FIELD, Wife Ashore (1941) DIARY/MEMOIR
Subtitled "Sketches of the life of a naval officer's wife".

THEODORA FITZGIBBON, With Love (1982) DIARY/MEMOIR
Popular cooking author's account of WWII and her life in Chelsea during the Blitz.

THEODORA FITZGIBBON, Love Lies a Loss (1985) DIARY/MEMOIR
Second volume of memoirs, covers the postwar years.

DIANA FORBES-ROBERTSON, The Battle of Waterloo Road (1941) NON-FICTION
Narrative of the Blitz and its effects on the people of working-class Lambeth, accompanied by the photographs of Robert Capa.

HELEN FORRESTER, Lime Street at Two (1985) DIARY/MEMOIR
Final volume of Forrester's acclaimed memoirs, dealing with her youth in Liverpool during WWII.

WINIFRED FORTESCUE, Trampled Lilies (1941) DIARY/MEMOIR
WINIFRED FORTESCUE, Beauty for Ashes (1948) DIARY/MEMOIR
WINIFRED FORTESCUE, Laughter in Provence (1950) DIARY/MEMOIR
Wartime entries in Fortescue's series of humorous memoirs about life in Provence.

ELIZABETH FOWLER, Standing Room Only (1944) DIARY/MEMOIR
Memoir of Fowler's experience of being the only woman among 35 passengers stranded for 10 days in a lifeboat after their ship was torpedoed.

PAULA FOX, The Coldest Winter: A Stringer in Liberated Europe (2005) DIARY/MEMOIR
American novelist's memoir of working for a news service in immediate postwar Europe.

CELIA FREMLIN, War Factory (1943) DIARY/MEMOIR
Vivid account of wartime factory work, growing out of Fremlin's involvement with Mass Observation.

CELIA FREMLIN, Living Through the Blitz (1976) DIARY/MEMOIR
Fremlin's memoir of her own experiences in the war.

ANNA FREUD, Infants without Families: Reports on the Hampstead Nurseries, 1939-1945 (1944) NON-FICTION
Not from my Overwhelming List, obviously, and not of interest to everyone, but this was a pioneering work of child psychology based on Freud’s studies of children orphaned and traumatized by war.

MURIEL GARDINER, Code Name 'Mary': Memoirs of an American Woman in the Austrian Underground (1983) DIARY/MEMOIR
Gardiner, later a prominent psychoanalyst, tells of her experiences in the Austrian anti-fascist movement in the years leading up to World War II.

RUMER GODDEN, A Time To Dance, No Time To Weep (1987) DIARY/MEMOIR
The first volume of her autobiography, including her dramatic and eventful time living in India during World War II.

VIRGINIA GRAHAM, Consider the Years 1938-1946 (2000) NON-FICTION
Collection of Graham's (mostly) humorous poems about wartime life, reprinted by Persephone.

JOYCE GRENFELL, The Time of My Life: Entertaining the Troops (1988) DIARY/MEMOIR
Wartime journals by popular actress and comedian.

JOYCE GRENFELL, Darling Ma (1988) DIARY/MEMOIR
Letters to her mother 1932-1944, including her wartime experiences.

CHARLOTTE HALDANE, Truth Will Out (1949) DIARY/MEMOIR
Memoir of her experiences as a war correspondent for The Daily Sketch during World War II.

MARTIN HARE (writing anonymously), The Dark Side of the Moon (1946) NON-FICTION
Account of Soviet brutality against the Poles during WWII, published anonymously, probably to protect family living in Poland.

JENNY HARTLEY, Hearts Undefeated: Women's Writing of the Second World War (1994) NON-FICTION
Anthology of non-fiction by women about the war, from letters, memoirs, diaries, and other sources.

ELIZABETH HAWES, Why Women Cry (1943) DIARY/MEMOIR
American journalist's experiences working as a machine operator in an American airplane factory.

DOREEN HAWKINS, Drury Lane to Dimapur: Wartime Adventures of an Actress (2009) DIARY/MEMOIR
Account of actress who entertained both in Britain and abroad during the war.

MARJORIE HESSELL TILTMAN, A Little Place in the Country (1944) DIARY/MEMOIR
Second of author's three memoirs of farming life. This volume takes her through the early war years.

VERE HODGSON, Few Eggs and No Oranges (1976) DIARY/MEMOIR
Incomparable diary of life in London during the war, reprinted by Persephone.

INEZ HOLDEN, It Was Different at the Time (1943) DIARY/MEMOIR
Underrated novelist's memoir of the early years of the war.

HILDA HOLLINGSWORTH, They Tied a Label on My Coat (1991) DIARY/MEMOIR
Recollections of a child evacuee during the war.

ANTONIA HUNT, Little Resistance: A Teenage English Girl's Adventures in Occupied France (1982) DIARY/MEMOIR
The subtitle says it all.

ELSPETH HUXLEY, Atlantic Ordeal: The Story of Mary Cornish (1941) NON-FICTION
Story of the nurse who helped a group of children in a lifeboat survive after the sinking of the City of Benares.

FAY INCHFAWN, Salute to the Village (1943) DIARY/MEMOIR
Christian-themed recollections of life in an English village in the first years of the war. Reviewed here.

FAY INCHFAWN, Those Remembered Days (1964) DIARY/MEMOIR
Late memoir in which Inchfawn also reflects on the war years.

NAOMI JACOB, Me—In War-Time (1940) DIARY/MEMOIR
Rather stiff and preachy wartime entry in Jacob's series of me-centered memoirs.

STORM JAMESON, Journey from the North (1969) DIARY/MEMOIR
Prominent novelist's autobiography, covering the years of both World Wars.

F. TENNYSON JESSE, London Front: Letters Written to America 1939-1940 (1940) DIARY/MEMOIR
First of two volumes of Jesse's compiled letters to American friends during the war.

F. TENNYSON JESSE, While London Burns (1942) DIARY/MEMOIR
Second volume of her letters to American friends.

F. TENNYSON JESSE, The Saga of San Demetrio (1942) NON-FICTION
Non-fiction telling the tale of a burning tanker that was reboarded by its crew and salvaged. Later made into a film.

SHIRLEY JOSEPH, If Their Mothers Only Knew: An Unofficial History of Life in the Women's Land Army (1946) NON-FICTION
Informal history of the Land Army, written immediately after the war.

ZELMA KATIN, 'Clippie': The Autobiography of a War Time Conductress (1944) DIARY/MEMOIR
Harrowing view of life as a tram conductor during the war.

BARBARA KAYE, The Company We Kept (1986) DIARY/MEMOIR
Memoir of wartime life with her antiquarian bookseller husband and their many literary friends.

SHEILA KAYE-SMITH, Kitchen Fugue (1945) DIARY/MEMOIR
Popular novelist's experiences living in "Bomb Alley" in Sussex during World War II.

MARION KELSEY, Victory Harvest: Diary of a Canadian in the Women's Land Army, 1940-1944 (1997) DIARY/MEMOIR
The title sums it up.

MARGARET KENNEDY, Where Stands a Wingèd Sentry (1941) DIARY/MEMOIR
Popular novelist's memoir (with a bit of "come into the war, America!" propaganda) of life with her family in a village by the coast.

RACHEL KNAPPETT, A Pullet on the Midden (1946) DIARY/MEMOIR
The author's experiences as a Land Girl.

CAROLE LANDIS, Four Jills in a Jeep (1944) DIARY/MEMOIR
Entertainer's memoir of her experiences, along with Kay Francis, Martha Raye, and Mitzi Mayfair, of wartime USO performances. Made into a film starring the four women in 1944.

NELLA LAST, Nella Last's War (1981) DIARY/MEMOIR
NELLA LAST, Nella Last's Peace (2008) DIARY/MEMOIR
NELLA LAST, Nella Last in the 1950s (2010) DIARY/MEMOIR
Diaries of a middle-aged housewife who found stimulation and challenge in her war work and frustration at being forced back into her housewife role in the years after.

MOLLY LEFEBURE, Evidence for the Crown (1954) DIARY/MEMOIR
Entertaining and sometimes harrowing account of working in the London coroner's office during the war.

ANITA LESLIE, Train to Nowhere (1948) DIARY/MEMOIR
ANITA LESLIE, A Story Half Told (1983) DIARY/MEMOIR
Memoirs of her harrowing experiences as an ambulance drive in France. The later memoirs includes additional recollections.

DOROTHY MACARDLE, Children of Europe: A Study of the Children of Liberated Countries (1949) NON-FICTION
Acclaimed study of the effects of war on children, stemming from her work with refugees.

ROSE MACAULAY, Letters to a Sister (1964) DIARY/MEMOIR
A selection of letters to her sister Jean, including some describing wartime situations.

YVONNE MACDONALD, Red Tape Notwithstanding (1941) DIARY/MEMOIR
Subtitled "A Story of the Mechanised Transport Corps in France from November 1939 to June 1940."

CECILY MACKWORTH, I Came Out of France (1941) DIARY/MEMOIR
Compelling and harrowing tale of her escape back to England after the fall of France, keeping barely one step ahead of the Nazi invaders. Reviewed here.

CECILY MACKWORTH, In the Mouth of the Sword (1949) POSTWAR
Journalistic work about the Middle East in the aftermath of the war.

ETHEL MANNIN, Brief Voices (1952) DIARY/MEMOIR
Memoir of the war by the novelist and passionate pacifist.

HILDE MARCHANT, Women and Children Last: A Woman Reporter's Account of the Battle of Britain (1941) DIARY/MEMOIR
Trail-blazing journalist's account of the Battle of Britain.

HILDE MARCHANT, The Home Front (1942) DIARY/MEMOIR
Journalist's later reportage on life during wartime.

VERA LAUGHTON MATHEWS, Blue Tapestry (1948) DIARY/MEMOIR
Memoir of her experiences as director of the Women's Royal Naval Service (WRNS) during World War II.

CLARA MILBURN, Mrs. Milburn's Diaries (1979) DIARY/MEMOIR
Important record of domestic life in Coventry during the war—including the terrible raids on the town and news that her son was M.I.A. after Dunkirk.

CONSTANCE MILES, Mrs. Miles's Diary (2013) DIARY/MEMOIR
Wartime diary of a "housewife" (who also happens to have written children's books and two novels).

JOAN MILLER, One Girl's War: Personal Exploits in MI5's Most Secret Station (1986) DIARY/MEMOIR
Memoir of an MI5 who was only in her early 20s when World War II began. Reportedly published despite efforts by MI5 to prevent it (see here).

NAOMI MITCHISON, Among You Taking Notes (1985) DIARY/MEMOIR
Novelist's wartime diaries, which she began as a volunteer for Mass Observation.

JOANNA MOODY, From Churchill’s War Rooms: Letters of a Secretary 1943-45 (2007) DIARY/MEMOIR
Collection of letters written by a young secretary in Churchill's War Rooms to her fiancé.

KATHARINE MOORE, A Family Life 1939-1945 (1989) DIARY/MEMOIR
Novelist and scholar's memoir of life in Kent during the war, including her time at a girls' school in the late years of the war.

GWENDA MORGAN, The Diary of a Land Girl, 1939-1945 (2002) DIARY/MEMOIR
Well-known engraver's diary of her time on a farm outside Petworth.

BESSY MYERS, Captured: My Experiences as an Ambulance Driver and as a Prisoner of the Nazis (1941) DIARY/MEMOIR
British ambulance driver's recollections of her service in France and her time as a prisoner of war (along with the likes of Colette).

JENNY NICHOLSON, Kiss the Girls Goodbye: On Life in the Women's Services (1944) NON-FICTION
Discussion of the widely-varied war work women performed.

MILDRED ROBERTSON NICOLL, Family Post Bag (1947) DIARY/MEMOIR
Collection of letters between a group of family and friends in 1944-1946, collected by the half-sister of Constance Miles (see above).

BARBARA NIXON, Raiders Overhead (1943) DIARY/MEMOIR
Memoir of the early years of the war by an air raid warden.

EDITH OLIVIER, Night-Thoughts of a Country Landlady (1943) DIARY/MEMOIR
Novelist's lightly fictionalized but highly autobiographical musings on wartime life.

EDITH OLIVIER, From Her Journals, 1924-1948 (1989) DIARY/MEMOIR
Excerpts of her journals, including those from World War II, interspersed with biographical information.

IRIS ORIGO, War in Val d'Orcia (1947) DIARY/MEMOIR
Prominent biographer's account of living in Italy during World War II, helping refugee children and later escaped Allied prisoners of war.

IRIS ORIGO, A Chill in the Air: An Italian War Diary 1939-1940 (2017) DIARY/MEMOIR
An additional diary from the author of War in Val d'Orcia, only recently published after being discovered after her death.

MOLLIE PANTER-DOWNES, London War Notes 1939-1945 (1971) DIARY/MEMOIR
Collection of her wartime "Letter from London" pieces from The New Yorker. Reprinted by Persephone.

FRANCES PARTRIDGE, A Pacifist's War (1978) DIARY/MEMOIR
First volume of her voluminous diaries, detailing the complications of being, along with her husband Ralph Partridge, a pacifist in wartime.

POLLY PEABODY, Occupied Territory (1941) DIARY/MEMOIR
Memoir of an American Red Cross worker traveling in occupied nations, particularly France.

EVELYN PRENTIS, A Nurse in Action (1978) DIARY/MEMOIR
The second volume (after A Nurse in Time) of Prentis' memoirs of a life in nursing covers her experiences in London during the war years.

BARBARA PYM, A Very Private Eye (1984) DIARY/MEMOIR
Pym's diaries, including those written during the war.

HERMIONE RANFURLY, To War with Whitaker: The Wartime Diaries of the Countess of Ranfurly, 1939–1945 DIARY/MEMOIR
WWII diaries about her determination to follow her soldier husband into the Middle East and Africa.

JOAN RICE, Sand in My Shoes: Wartime Diaries of a WAAF (2006) DIARY/MEMOIR
Humorous wartime diaries by the mother of lyricist Tim Rice.

MOLLY RICH, A Vicarage in the Blitz: The Wartime Letters of Molly Rich 1940-1944 (2010) DIARY/MEMOIR
Collected wartime letters by the wife of Edward Rich, a prominent vicar.

LYNETTE ROBERTS, Collected Poems (2005) NON-FICTION
Including the poet's wartime verse, considered to be among her best work.

LYNETTE ROBERTS, Diaries, Letters and Recollections (2008) DIARY/MEMOIR
Collection of important poet's other writings, including many dealing with her time in rural south Wales during World War II.

ESTHER ROWLEY, Dogs, Goats, Bulbs and Bombs : Esther Rowley's Wartime Diaries of Exmouth and Exeter (2010) DIARY/MEMOIR
Diary of an independent woman living in a heavily bombed area by the docks and an army camp near Exmouth and Exeter.

NAOMI ROYDE-SMITH, Outside Information (1941) DIARY/MEMOIR
Novelist's diary of the tumultuous first months of the war.

MAUD RUSSELL, A Constant Heart: The War Diaries of Maud Russell 1938-1945 (2017) DIARY/MEMOIR
Diary of an upper-crust woman (her home, Mottisfont Abbey in Hampshire, now belongs to the National Trust) whose friends include celebrities of political and artistic life.

VITA SACKVILLE-WEST, Country Notes in Wartime (1941) DIARY/MEMOIR
A compilation of short pieces on country life and gardening which first appeared in The New Statesman and Nation.

VITA SACKVILLE-WEST, The Women's Land Army (1944) NON-FICTION
"[C]ombines an account of the girls' successes with comment on some of the ugly prejudice they had to endure, and a gloomy assessment of their chances of continuing on the land after the war" (Elizabeth Maslen).

VITA SACKVILLE-WEST, Vita and Harold: The Letters of Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson (1992) DIARY/MEMOIR
Includes the prominent couple's letters from the war, when they were often separated due to Nicolson's work in London.

MARY LEE SETTLE, All the Brave Promises: Memories of Aircraft Woman Second Class 2146391 (1966) DIARY/MEMOIR
American novelist's memoir of her war experiences.

EVELYN SHILLINGTON, Eve's War: The Diaries of a Military Wife during the Second World War (2017) DIARY/MEMOIR
Diary of an army wife who actually accompanied her husband on his postings, with a unique view of wartime life and ending up in devastated Italy.

HILDA SILBERMAN, Unimportant Letters of Important Years 1941-1951 (1951) DIARY/MEMOIR
Silberman's letters to friends during World War II and the years immediately after.

EDITH SITWELL, Street Songs (1942) NON-FICTION
EDITH SITWELL, The Song of the Cold (1945) NON-FICTION
EDITH SITWELL, The Shadow of Cain (1947) NON-FICTION
Three collections containing the modernist poet's wartime verse.

BARBARA SKELTON, Tears Before Bedtime (1987) DIARY/MEMOIR
Novelist's acclaimed memoir of World War II.

KAY SMALLSHAW, How to Run Your Home without Help (1949) NON-FICTION
Housekeeping guide with interesting insights into life in the years just after the war. Reviewed here.

EMMA SMITH, Maidens' Trip (1948) DIARY/MEMOIR
Novelist's account of working on the canals of England during the war.

MAY SMITH, These Wonderful Rumours!: A Young Schoolteacher's Wartime Diaries 1939-1945 (2012) DIARY/MEMOIR
Schoolteacher's witty war diaries, telling of life as a teacher in a village near Derby.

NANCY SPAIN, Thank You, Nelson (1945) DIARY/MEMOIR
Witty memoir of the eccentric novelist's experiences in the W.R.N.S.

FREYA STARK, Dust in the Lion's Paw: Autobiography 1939-1946 (1961) DIARY/MEMOIR
Travel author's recollections of the war years.

JOYCE STOREY, Joyce's War (1990) DIARY/MEMOIR
Middle volume of Storey's popular trio of humorous memoirs, covering the war years.

JOAN STRANGE, Despatches From the Home Front: The War Diaries of Joan Strange 1939-1945
 (1989) DIARY/MEMOIR
Diary of a physiotherapist living in Worthing.

JAN STRUTHER, Women of Britain (1941) DIARY/MEMOIR
Collection of letters from women in Britain, introduced and commented upon by the author of Mrs Miniver.

JANET TEISSIER DU CROS, Divided Loyalties: A Scotswoman in Occupied France (1962) DIARY/MEMOIR
Memoir of a Scottish women living in southern France during the war.

RUBY THOMPSON, World War II London Blitz Diary (2013) DIARY/MEMOIR
Wartime diaries of an unhappily-married woman who used her diaries as an outlet for her frustrations.

CONSTANCE TOMKINSON, Les Girls (1956) DIARY/MEMOIR
Memoir of her travels as a dancer in wartime Europe.

JULIA TREMAYNE, War on Sark (1981) DIARY/MEMOIR
Collection of letters written by the author, who lived on the German-occupied Channel Island of Sark, to her daughter in England, which couldn't be sent until the war's end.

SYLVIA TOWNSEND WARNER, Letters (1982) DIARY/MEMOIR
Includes Warner's letters recording her impressions of the war years.

SYLVIA TOWNSEND WARNER, Diaries (1994) DIARY/MEMOIR
Novelist's heavily edited but vivid thoughts and reactions to the events of the Blitz and the war in general.

HILARY WAYNE, Two Odd Soldiers (1946) DIARY/MEMOIR
Details the exploits of the author and her daughter in the ATS during WWII.

MOLLY WEIR, Shoes Were for Sunday (1970) DIARY/MEMOIR
Comedienne's memoir of her childhood in postwar Glasgow.

MAUREEN WELLS, Entertaining Eric: Letters from the Home Front 1941-1944 (1988) DIARY/MEMOIR
Humorous letters from a young girl engaged in the war effort to her boyfriend stationed in the Middle East.

REBECCA WEST, The Phoenix: The Meaning of Treason (1949) NON-FICTION
Novelist/journalist's essay on Brits who worked with the Germans during the war, including the notorious Lord Haw-Haw.

REBECCA WEST, A Train of Powder (1955) NON-FICTION
West's articles about the Nuremberg trials, originally published in The New Yorker.

DOROTHY WHIPPLE, Random Commentary: Books and Journals Kept from 1925 Onwards (1966) DIARY/MEMOIR
Charmingly "random" diary recording Whipple's literary success and personal life; the second half or so feature the trials of the war years. Reviewed here.

AMABEL WILLIAMS-ELLIS, In and Out of Doors (1937) NON-FICTION
Published before the war, but apparently this activity book for children was in very popular use with parents during the war, who faced the challenge of keeping children busy in bomb shelters.

VIRGINIA WOOLF, The Diary of Virginia Woolf: Volume V 1936-1941 (1984) DIARY/MEMOIR
Final volume of her diary, in which the approach of war and the war itself is frequently mentioned.

VIRGINIA WOOLF, Leave the Letters Till We're Dead: Collected Letters VI 1936-1941 (1980) DIARY/MEMOIR
Includes Woolf's letters dealing with the war.

SUSAN WOOLFITT, Idle Women (1947) DIARY/MEMOIR
Account of her experiences as a canal boat worker during World War II.

JOAN WYNDHAM, Love Lessons (1985) DIARY/MEMOIR
JOAN WYNDHAM, Love Is Blue (1986) DIARY/MEMOIR
JOAN WYNDHAM, Anything Once (1992) DIARY/MEMOIR
Irrepressible and highly-sexed diaries of a young girl coming of age just as war begins. The second volume traces the second half of the war, and the third follows her exploits into the postwar years.

5 comments:

  1. You have again added to my tbr list Scott! Here are a few extra ones to add to the list:
    They Also Serve - Dorothy Baden Powell (2005). A very interesting memoir on working for both the Norwegian branch of the SOE and as a boats-crew Wren.
    A Notable Woman - the Romantic Journals of Jean Lucy Platt (2015). This includes her wartime diary, and unusually she was under-employed, working in the publicity dept of an aluminium company, who didn't need any publicity as all their output was for the War Dept making aircraft parts.
    How the Girl Guides Won the War - Janie Hampton (2010)
    A Constant Heart - War Diaries of Maud Russell (2017)
    Eve's War - Diary of a Military Wife - Evelyn Shillington (2017)

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  2. Thanks Michelle Ann! These look intriguing. I'll make a note.

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  3. Oh gosh! Such riches. I want them all, Scott.

    Although I seem to have a surprising number of them already, or have read them.

    Right now I'm rereading Few Eggs and No Oranges, just to try and put things in perspective.

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    Replies
    1. I'm sure you have a number of them Susan! But hopefully a few are new to you--I wouldn't want your TBR to dwindle!

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  4. Spam Tomorrow was a wonderful book! I'm new to your blog, and am just loving it.

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