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and life along the winding road

Friday, October 16, 2015

The Love Charm of Bombs by Lara Feigel

The Love Charm of Bombs by Lara Feigel follows the lives of authors in the midst of the London bombing who found the war exhilarating in a hedonistic way. Henry Yorke (whose nom de plume was Henry Green), Elizabeth BowenGraham GreeneHilde Spiel, and Rose Macaulay lived in both fear and apprehension during WWII when bombers covered the skies of London some dropping as many as 1,000 incendiary bombs. Ms. Feigel gleaned information from letters, newspapers, magazine articles, and quotes from the authors' books and journals. Many authors used their experiences to write novels:
Life Among the English
The Last September (this is also a movie)
Troubles from the Point of an Anglo-Irish Family
Ministry of Fear
Their relief at dodging the bombs (although many, like Rose Maccauley, lost a home and treasured books and letters as a result) gave them a "live for today" attitude and many took lovers.
By March 1941 over 33,000 civilians were killed in air raids.

My thoughts:
At over 400 pages, I found the book to be tedious in places. I also found it difficult to follow the many affairs.  I did appreciate the research into London during the war and it's difficult to comprehend living through the nightly bombardments. The London air raids were thought to exacerbate Virginia Woolf's nervous breakdowns leading to her suicide. I was also surprised to learn that Ireland remained neutral and Winston Churchill blamed Ireland for the loss of many ships that had to return to England for refueling when they were not able to refuel on the coast of Ireland. The brave Irish soldiers who chose to fight with Britain were blacklisted when they returned home

1 comment:

TracyK said...

This sounds like a very interesting book, at least from the perspective of learning more about WWII and London during the war.