Diary of a wartime affair - Doreen Bates



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Diary of a wartime affair - the true story of a surprisingly modern romance
Doreen Bates
Paperback / softback
Penguin Books
UK Publication Date

'Unflinchingly honest...
this diary is exceptional' Elizabeth Buchan

'Tuesday 23 October, 1934
Another glorious sunny day. Lunch in Kens Gdns. E had not slept well "as I longed and longed for you". It made me happy that he wanted me. I suppose that is mean. He said, "I could pick you out in the dark from fifty women . . ." '

The diary of Doreen Bates is a candid, spellbinding portrait of a gutsy young woman working in London in the years before and during the Second World War, as well as an extraordinary account of her long affair with an older, married colleague - one that brazenly challenged the strict conventions of the day.

'Startlingly frank and readable' David Kynaston

'Absolutely engrossing'
Virginia Nicholson

'Astute, passionate, remarkably intimate, showing us the day-to-day picture of a long relationship'

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Doreen Mary Bates was born on 25 April 1906, the first child of Rosa and Wyndham Bates. When Doreen joined the Inland Revenue, E had been working in it for several years and was married to Kathleen, a ballet teacher. Doreen Bates' children, Margaret and Andrew, edited her diary.

I absolutely loved it
Sarah Waters

Startlingly frank and readable
Guardian Books of the Year - David Kynaston

An extraordinary book, and profoundly challenging to all one's notions of that era. To read about a normal, educated, sensible, middle class working woman of the 1930s, literate, musically aware, a fan of art and history, who makes moral decisions that would seem more at home in the swinging sixties, or much nearer than that to our own day, is quite amazing.
Julian Fellowes

Fascinating... I found [Doreen's] sophistication, startling modernity and sexual/emotional ups and downs absolutely engrossing. Doreen is a great character. She's a natural writer, with intriguing self-awareness, and persuasive insights on so many things: nature, food, romance, art... Above all, I loved her appetite for life and physical pleasure, and her lack of shame. It is extraordinary, the way she has stepped outside the conventional morality of her time. I am delighted Doreen Bates's diary is seeing the light of day
Virginia Nicholson

The explosive story of Bates's long affair with her colleague, William Evans, is recorded in the remarkably frank wartime diary that is finally published this year...
Daily Mail Book of the Week

An unusually exact view of private life in the 1930s and 40s ... as seen through the eyes of an unusually intelligent witness: she is astute on questions of pacifism and is a passionate observer of nature. More important, it allows us a remarkably intimate window on to the complexities of a particular relationship... there aren't many diaries of this kind

A fascinating period piece
Sunday Express

A remarkable record of private life in the years between 1934 and 1941 ... recounted with a precision and feeling that might break your heart. But it's droll and candid too ... a treat for anyone interested in the sturm and drang of life during wartime
Observer - Anthony Quinn

Keyword Index
Man-woman relationships - Great Britain - History - 20th century.|Civil service - Great Britain - History - 20th century.|Great Britain - Officials and employees - Diaries.
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
Number of Pages
xix, 305

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