To celebrate publication of These Wonderful Rumours! The recently discovered wartime diaries of May Smith, a young teacher who lived in Derby during the Second World War, we are giving Virago readers an exclusive look inside the book with a series of extracts from May's diaries from the years 1939-1945.
A unique snapshot into life on the Home Front, through May Smith’s diary we gain a brand new understanding of how the people of Britain coped with the uncertainty, the heartbreak and the black comedy of life during wartime.
Today’s extract is taken from May's entry for November 6th 1939.
Monday, November 6th
Our first day on full time again. Goodness! Felt as if I’d done a week’s toil and grind at the end of it. Escaped with relief.
Our weekly inroad into International Relations this evening. Mr G made his usual involved and high-sounding outbursts. Every sentence either began or ended with ‘In hard practice’ and we all had to stifle hysterical giggles. Could hear Charlie Fairbrother asking Where Hard Practice is – is it in the Balkans? whereat all in his row giggled, and I was afraid the man G would hear them.
Mr H was enquiring very earnestly about The Red Menace, and seems to have a positive complex about it. He asked in a sinister way, ‘What about Russia and Japan? What if Germany Goes Red?; What about Communism among the English Intellectuals?’ And so forth.
For more fun titbits from These Wonderful Rumours! you can now follow @MaySmithsDiary on Twitter.
Here's a selection of keyword-matched articles that you might also find interesting:
- A look inside These Wonderful Rumours! Extract Three.
- A look inside These Wonderful Rumours! Extract Two.
- A look inside These Wonderful Rumours! Out Now.
- An Exclusive Look at the Handwritten Diaries and Artefacts Behind These Wonderful Rumours!
- The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister – new acquisition for Virago