Among You Taking Notes: The Wartime Diary of Naomi Mitchison, 1939-1945
From 1 September 1939, when Hitler invaded Poland, to 10 August 1945, when the Americans dropped the second Atomic Bomb, Naomi Mitchison kept a diary at the request of the social research organisation, Mass-Observation. But what she wrote developed far beyond the limits of a social document. Naomi's life during wartime, spent in the fishing village of Carradale on Kintyre, was crowded with incident, and her attitudes to events were always forceful, original, and honest. She records her thoughts as a poet, novelist, and left-wing political writer; as a hater of war who believed that the war must nevertheless be fought; as a working farmer, driving tractors and hoeing turnips; and, not least, as a wife, mother, and friend, coping with her husband's enforced absence in London and her children's departure for schools and the services, and running a houseful of evacuees, Allied ex-POWs, and villagers. Above all, she writes as a woman of striking individuality and intelligence, acknowledging the particular problems of being female during the confusion and uncertainty of the war years.
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