Singled Out by Virginia Nicholson

singled out

Singled Out: How Two Million British Women Survived Without Men After the First World War.

This book is a newly acquired item at our local library.  Since the subject matter and time period is one I am interested in I had to get on the list.  It’s definitely a scholarly publication and not a beach read at all.  OK, that should go without saying considering the topic and title.

The author clearly researched this in great detail and so it read like a textbook at times.

There are excerpts from diaries and memoirs written by the women of that era.  Those passages tell you so much about their resolve, their loneliness and in many cases about ambition to make life better for women in the workplace.

This blurb form the book tells you quite a bit.


A chapter about “Surplus Women” tells us about consequences of women who weren’t able to marry as their fiancées were killed during the war.  Some of the men who returned suffered from PTSD ( called shell shock back then) or from awful debilitating injuries and were unable to resume the life they left.   The young ladies who imagined a life with husband, children and a traditional place in society (considering the norm of those times) had to adjust to a completely different way of life.

I didn’t finish the book but plan to request it again from the library.  I just ran out of time.

About the author

Virginia Nicholson was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and grew up in Yorkshire and Sussex. She studied at Cambridge University and lived abroad in France and Italy, then worked as a documentary researcher for BBC Television. Her books include the acclaimed social histories Among the Bohemians: Experiments in Living 1900-1939, Singled Out: How Two Million Women Survived Without Men after the First World War, and Millions Like Us: Women’s Lives During the Second World War. 

Linking up with Joy’s British Isles Friday


4 thoughts on “Singled Out by Virginia Nicholson

  1. Pingback: Friday and I got nothing #BriFri – Joy's Book Blog

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