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Nella Last’s War: The Second World War Diaries of Housewife, 49 | Slightly Foxed Edition No. 60

Nella Last’s War | From the Slightly Foxed bookshelves

Introducing the latest addition to the Slightly Foxed Editions list, No. 60:


The Second World War Diaries of Housewife, 49

In 1937 the social research group Mass Observation launched a project to record the lives of ordinary people in Britain by recruiting 500 volunteer diarists. One of these was Nella Last, a housewife living in Barrow-in-Furness with a husband and two grown-up sons, one a trainee tax-inspector and one in the army. So far, so seemingly ordinary, but there was nothing ordinary about Nella.

Generous, energetic, forthright and essentially liberal in her opinions, with a vigorous and engaging writing style, Nella is a phenomenon, for this published diary contains only a selection of the many millions of words she wrote each week. Nella herself wrote that ‘Next to being a mother I would have loved to write books.’ She may not have entirely realized that ambition, but she left us an unrivalled account of life in wartime Britain that is not only a piece of social history but also the portrait of a woman you feel could have run the country, given half a chance. We do hope you enjoy meeting her in this new Slightly Foxed Edition.

With best wishes, as ever, from the SF office staff
Anna, Hattie & Jess

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