Three books (that bring the early 20th century to life)

So many wonderful books, blogs and websites! I spend as much time reading as I do writing – if not more. This is the first of a series of irregular posts highlighting the resources which particular inspire or inform my writing.

Zeppelin Nights: London in the First World War by Jerry White

Detailed and erudite – yet full of human interest and gossipy stories. Excellent on women’s war work, wounded soldiers, and the city’s poor – plus a whole chapter on “Harlot-Haunted London”.

Margot at War: Love and Betrayal In Downing Street 1912-1916 by Anne de Courcy

Unrequited love, political intrigue, and descent into the madness of war seen through the diaries and letter of Margo Asquith. A stylish insight into the lives of the elite of British society by the author of the The Fishing Fleet and The Husband Hunters.

A Crisis of Brilliance by David Boyd Haycock

A readable, witty account of the true lives and loves (and, too often, the tragic deaths) of five young artists who between them shocked and challenged the stifling norms of society and traditional art before and during the Great War.

Buy at any good bookshop – or borrow from your town library. It’s also worth checking your local Oxfam Bookshop.

About Hannah

Author of literary historical fiction set in the First World War. Revising my first book, writing the next, seeking representation. Mountaineer, gardener, traveller, off-road runner. Africa, modern history, coffee, roses, films, book and unrealistic romance. NHS midwife in a former life.
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