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Home » Books » History » Military History » World War II

Debs at War: 1939-1945

By Anne De Courcy

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Format: Paperback, 320 pages
Other Information: 40 Illustrations, unspecified
Published In: United Kingdom, 04 May 2006
An extraordinary account - from firsthand sources - of upper class women and the active part they took in the WarPre-war debutantes were members of the most protected, not to say isolated, stratum of 20th-century society: the young (17-20) unmarried daughters of the British upper classes. For most of them, the war changed all that for ever. It meant independence and the shock of the new, and daily exposure to customs and attitudes that must have seemed completely alien to them. For many, the almost military regime of an upper class childhood meant they were well suited for the no-nonsense approach needed in wartime. This book records the extraordinary diversity of challenges, shocks and responsibilities they faced - as chauffeurs, couriers, ambulance-drivers, nurses, pilots, spies, decoders, factory workers, farmers, land girls, as well as in the Women's Services. How much did class barriers really come down? Did they stick with their own sort? And what about fun and love in wartime - did love cross the class barriers?

Promotional Information

Anne de Courcy's histories of the glittering life of the upper classes have sold consistently well - The Viceroy's Daughters has sold a total of over 70,000 copies and 1939: The Last Season over 25,000 with Society's Queen close behind. A unique perspective on the war from those at the very heart of British society 'Produces some memorable cameos. Among the most memorable are those of a young girl delivering local post from her grandmother's Scottish estate with a 4.10 rifle slung over her shoulder, ready to fire at German planes...oddest of all, perhaps, is an account from one of Lord Rothermere's daughters, of tea being served on the terrace by a butler in white gloves while a dogfight raged overhead' Miranda Seymour, Sunday Times 'A wonderful slice of social history, and Anne de Courcy is a skilled interviewer with a sure eye for the telling quotation or the stand-out detail' Mail on Sunday 'A glorious yarn, a mixture of derring-do, make-do and eye-popping innocence' Edwina Currie, New Statesman

About the Author

Anne de Courcy was Women's Editor on the London Evening News in the 1970s and a regular columnist and feature writer for the Evening Standard in the 1980s. She was formerly a feature writer for the Daily Mail. Her books have specialised in 20th-century social history.

Reviews

'A tale of derring-do, make do and make-up... De Courcy reveals the innocence and bravery of these young women.' EXPRESS 'DEBS AT WAR covers a quirky and original subject and tells some cracking human interest stories.' HAM & HIGH

EAN: 9780753820780
ISBN: 0753820781
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Dimensions: 13.2 x 20 x 2.4 centimetres (0.25 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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