Author: Virginia Cowles; Christina Lamb (Introduction by)
Publication date: 18/01/2022
Imprint: FABER & FABER
This sensational 1941 memoir of life on the frontline of wartime Europe by a ‘magnificent‘ (Antony Beevor) trailblazing female reporter is a rediscovered classic, introduced by Christina Lamb:‘I was blown away … The Forrest Gump ofjournalism …Incredible.’
Madridin the Spanish Civil War
Pragueduring the Munich crisis
Berlinthe day Germany invaded Poland
Helsinkias the Russians attacked
Moscowbetrayed by the Nazis
Parisas it fell to the Germans
Londonon the first day of the Blitz
Virginia Cowles has seen it all.
As a pioneering female correspondent, she reported from Europe from the 1930s into the Second World War, watching ‘the lights in the death-chamber go out one by one’ from the frontline – always in the right place at the right time.
Flinging off her heels under shellfire; meeting Hitler (‘an inconspicuous little man’); gossiping with Churchill by his goldfish pond; dancing in the bomb-blasted Ritz; readingThe Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Socialismon a Soviet train; eating reindeer with guerrilla skiers … Introduced by Christina Lamb, Cowles’ incredible dispatches will make you an eyewitness to the twentieth-century as you have never experienced it before.
‘An amazingly brilliant reporter … One of the most engrossing and illuminatingly effective books that the war has produced.’New York Times Book Review
What readers are saying:
The Forrest Gump of early World War II
The queen of historical name-dropping
Holy cow! What a wonderful find!!
Most unexpectedly great book that I have read in years. Reads like a novel [but] this is real life.
The best book I’ve read this year … Exquisitely written [day-to-day] drama of history … Breathtakingly fresh.
I can’t recommend this book enough. Cowles’ voice and humanity are her greatest assets, but her willingness to be where the action was – and always find trouble – paid off.
A marvel. Her ability to capture anecdotes and dialogue that offer surprising insights into historic personages and events is a frequent source of wonder. It was difficult for me not to drive my family crazy wanting to read them quotes.
The intrepid Virginia Cowles was in the right places at the right times and connected to the right people. What a life she led!