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helenliz

helenliz

Singled Out

Singled Out: How Two Million Women Survived Without Men After the First World War - Virginia Nicholson This is a really interesting read. It details the situations faced and dealt with by the generation of women born in the UK between 1885 and 1905, those that came of age during the first world war an found themselves single due the the lack of available men. In a sense it is very sad, as a number of them clearly long to have married and had children, but at the same time, without this generation of ground breakers women today would have a much harder life. it seems to me that the advances that took place at the instigation of this generation of women far exceeds that if the feminist movement or the women's lib of the 60s & 70s. I knew very few of these women, although both the Great Grannies that I knew fell into this generation. In both cases, the war intervened and they both had their children significantly later than would have been the case. Great Granny Bloy (according to family legend) lost her boyfriend during the war, only to marry in her late 20s and have her children (including my Grandma) in her early 30s - late compared to the standards of the prewar age. Not all of them chose to be single, not all of them enjoyed the life they led with no regrets, but all of them managed and carried on and made themselves useful to their families and to society as a whole. It is largely because of this generation that my generation leads a life they would not recognise.