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Love in the Blitz

The Greatest Lost Love Letters of the Second World War

Eileen Alexander

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Harper Collins
19 August 2020
Biography; Diaries, letters & journals; Second World War
'Her voice is absolutely, beguilingly conversational ... Intelligent, allusive, iconoclastic, captivatingly intense ... This is the news from the domestic frontline: personal, unique, unexpurgated, without propaganda, as it unfolded and was experienced ... Splendid' William Boyd, Guardian 'Eileen is an ambitious, kind and achingly funny observer' The Times 'A unique insight into home-front life and romance' Mail on Sunday With the intimacy and wit of a Second World War Bridget Jones, Eileen Alexander offers a portal into life during the Blitz.

Eileen Alexander fell in love amidst the falling of bombs, finding a quotation from poetry at every turn. Graduating from Cambridge in 1939, she had just been injured in a car crash (the man she had a soft spot for was driving) and had firm ambitions of studying further, making herself useful and absolutely not getting married.

Her letters offer a love story and a unique snapshot of the home front, as well as resurrecting the voice of a profoundly funny writer.

'I wonder what anyone would think if they suddenly came across my letters to you & started reading them in chronological order?' Eileen wrote in 1941. 'I think they'd say This girl never lived till she loved - and it would be true, darling.'
By:   Eileen Alexander
Imprint:   Harper Collins
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 153mm,  Spine: 38mm
Weight:   640g
ISBN:   9780008311216
ISBN 10:   0008311218
Pages:   496
Publication Date:   19 August 2020
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Eileen Alexander was born in Cairo and grew up in a cosmopolitan Jewish family before moving to Cambridge as a student. She graduated from Girton College with a first-class degree in English in 1939, and worked during the Second World War for the civil service in the Air Ministry. Eileen went on to be a teacher, writer and translator, including translating some of Georges Simenon's works.

Reviews for Love in the Blitz: The Greatest Lost Love Letters of the Second World War

'Eileen emerges as a force of nature, and her voice is one of the real joys in these remarkable letters. She was clever and caustic, without being cruel; intellectually brilliant and revelling in that fact... a memoir of hope and resilience, as much as of love' The Times 'A trove of dazzlingly literary love letters. These are as [Oswyn] Murray rightly concludes, 'some of the most beautiful and vivid' love letters of the Second World War' Daily Telegraph 'The great value of Eileen's book is that it takes you out of our present troubles into a world even more dangerous and destructive, which people nevertheless survived' Sunday Times 'This remarkable treasure trove of letters gives a unique insight into home-front life and romance' Mail on Sunday 'A lovely book that's best read slowly to savour the gradual unfurling of a great love in a distressing, destructive time.' S magazine, Sunday Express 'Superbly entertaining ... on almost every page there is a gleaming little starburst of life... the letters trace the years of the war from a woman's perspective, a woman of high intelligence and self-possession withal, who never doubts for one moment that her fiance is after an equal intellectual partner. She is immensely clever and her literary judgements are delicious. Her writing is a diary-like outpouring, a stream of consciousness in which she relives her days in the glorifying imagined gaze of her recipient; it is a mass of apercus, jokes, observations and confessions.' TLS 'If you want to discover how to stay close when you're frightened and cut off from a loved one, Eileen Alexander's passionate, gossipy, vivacious outpourings show the way. Her letters tell a story of survival itself - and give voice to the urgency to connect in love in spite of every obstacle.' Marina Warner


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