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By K. Miller

This book interrogates the patriotic, utopian excellent of the People’s warfare via examining conflicted representations of sophistication and gender in literature and picture. Its subtitle--Fighting the People’s War--describes how British voters either united to struggle Nazi Germany and puzzled the nationalist ideology binding them jointly.

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Here we were all doing the same thing, without distinction. It was wonderful” (Saywell 16). 34 British Literature of the Blitz Similarly, a middle-class homemaker writes, “Now I find I have long conversations in buses etc. about rationing, dried milk, exchanging recipes, etc. and much enjoy these whilst I am certain that before the war none of these people would have dared to speak to a stranger like me” (M-O A: DR 3002, Jan. 6 Whether these previously sheltered women were conversing about the war or mobilizing to fight it, they were excited about the possibility of crossing social barriers that had seemed impermeable in peacetime.

War made me that image out of a house built of anxious history. (BC 457) Bowen calls the house a “magic mirror,” an “illusion,” and a “private image” in an effort to establish its distance from the nightly bombing of the Blitz, much as she labels those “little dear saving illusory worlds” into which the characters of her short fiction escape. Although she hopes from this distance to find meaning in the nightmare of the Blitz, she also recognizes that the illusion is built upon both the chaotic experience of war and the shaky foundations of strained class relations, the “anxious history” that has always underwritten the power of the Anglo-Irish ascendancy.

Or else you give up making plans. Like many other people I chose the second alternative. ] When you are tired, which is most of the time, your thoughts repeat themselves as your machine repeats its process and you can’t disengage yourself from them. (Hartley, Hearts 149) The repetition inevitably numbed the impulse to think creatively and independently, and as a result, women working in war factories often found it difficult to be politically engaged: For, paradoxical as it may seem, life in a twelve-hours-a-day war factory makes one feel further removed from the war than one could in any other type of life.

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