The Mass-Observation organisation was set up in 1937 with the aim of recording everyday life in Britain. Dorothy Sheridan has plundered its astonishingly rich archives to put together this anthology of women's experience in the Second World War. What was this experience? How far did it go to liberate women? Was it the opportunity that so many expected or was it simply six years of deprivation, hard work and pain?
WARTIME WOMEN allows us to explore these questions through the writings of women living through the war years. Dorothy Sheridan has chosen extracts from the whole range of Mass-Observation material including research reports, letters, dairies and detailed questionnaires.
The range of contributors is enormous from a fish and chip shop worker in Birmingham to Irish immigrant munitions factory workers, young women welders in Yorkshire and a seventeen-year-old schoolgirl in Essex.
'My horror of all this war business is qualified by an eagerness to be a unit of it. I feel as if I have been waiting for this all my life and I have just realised it' A young woman writing in her diary in September, 1939.