In this volume, Paul Preston focusses on the stories of four women whose very different beliefs and experiences help crystallise a new vision of the Spanish Civil War. In the book, as in the war, communist is pitted against fascist.
Love, war, duty, faith, betrayal and belief - this book presents a portrait of the Spanish Civil War from the viewpoint of the experience of four women. The last war fought for ideals, the Spanish Civil War tore Spain apart. Much has been written about its effects on the people and country but little about the women involved. However, behind the well-documented experiences of Martha Gellhorn and La Pasionaria lie the forgotten stories of the women whose lives proved crucial to the struggle - and to understanding it. In "Doves of War", Paul Preston focuses on the stories of four women whose very different beliefs and experiences help crystallise a new vision of the Spanish Civil War. In the book, as in the war, communist is pitted against fascist. In the red corner we have Margarita Nelken the revolutionary feminist, writer and politician; and Nan Green the Communist nurse whose International Brigader husband was killed in battle on the last day of the war. In the blue corner there is Mercedes Sanz Bachiller whose entry into politics rapidly followed her miscarriage on hearing of the death of her husband in battle, and Priscilla Scott-Ellis daughter of a supporter of Oswald Mosley and married, with disastrous results, to a Spanish playboy, her alcoholic and sexual exploits with the German airforce notorious. Each story casts a different light on the events of the war and on the experiences of women in Spain.