First published in 1947, this is an eyewitness account of the Blitz by one of the leading writers of the day who served during the war in the Auxiliary Fire Service. It recreates the experience of civilians in Westminster throughout the war.
Written in the immediate aftermath of World War II and first published in 1947, this book is an eyewitness account of the Blitz by one of the leading writers of the day who served during the war in the Auxiliary Fire Service. William Sansom, perhaps best known for his book of short stories about wartime London, "Fireman Flower and Other Stories", here recreates the experience of civilians in Westminster throughout the war from the time of the "phoney war", through the Blitz, the Lull and the Little Blitz, to the final phase of the flying bombs. The area of Westminster could not be more socially diverse and one of the chief themes of the book is the spirit of solidarity that eventually developed between those living in different areas. Both famous and infamous London are a part of this story of endurance. Sansom recreates the feeling of impotence that civilians felt at not being able to fight back, and he records the shrugging off of peacetime responsibilities and the jaunty attitudes that existed, paradoxically, at times of the worst bombing. Tragic though the continual destruction was, Sansom also discovered humans thriving in the most unlikely situations.
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