Author(s): Maureen Waller
London at the outset of war in 1939 was the greatest city in the world, the heart of the British Empire. The defiant capital had always been Hitler's prime target and 1945, the last year of the war, saw the final phase of the battle of London. The Civil Defence could not have succeeded without the spirit, courage, resilience and co-operation of the people. London 1945 describes how a great city coped in crisis, how morale was sustained, shelter provided, food and clothing rationed, and work and entertainment carried on.
Then, as the joy of VE Day and VJ Day passed into memory, Londoners faced severe shortages and all the problems of post-war adjustment. Women lost the independence the war had lent them, husbands and wives had to learn to live together again, and children had a lot of catching up to do.
The year of victory, 1945, represents an important chapter in London's - and Britain's - long history.
'She writes with a great affection for London ... a compelling picture of the life of the ordinary Londoner' -- The Spectator 20040501 'An enjoyable read and meticulously researched' -- The Guardian 20040516 'Convincing, humane and highly readable' -- Telegraph 20040516 'A wholly compulsive read ... outstanding' -- Hampstead and Highgate Express 20040430 'A triumph' -- Western Daily Press 20040506 'Maureen Waller ... brings to her work a remarkable level of industry' -- London Society Journal 20041101 'Waller delivers a vivid portrait of London, showing the stoicism and good humour in adversity that made London the beacon of hope for freedom-loving peoples around the world.' -- Waterstone's Book Quarterly 20041101 'Using vivid witness accounts, Waller [gives].. a compelling account of a crucial year' -- Women and Home Magazine 20041101 'For anyone who wants a fuller picture of what life was really like during those dark days, Maureen Waller's superb social history provides the answer.' -- Focus 20041101 'Touching on almost every aspect of daily life towards the end of the war, from the kitchen to the workplace, she imbues the era with a sense of immediacy which few other histories of the subject can match' -- Sunday Times 20041101 'Waller has written an immensely powerful history.' -- The Good Book Guide 20041101 'An ambitious enterprise, and Waller brings it off admirably - a sort of Bayeux Tapestry' -- The Times 20040501 'A wonderfully vivid panorama of a thrilling time' -- Scotsman 20040501 'Meticulously researched account imbues the second-world-war era with a matchless sense of immediacy' -- Sunday Times 20040501 'Magisterial ... a fine account in which sober analysis is combined with a mass of memorable and emotive information' -- Daily Mail 20040514 'Fascinating, impressive and meticulously researched ... a treasure trove' -- Daily Express 20040430 'This copiously researched, anecdote-filled book is one of the best [titles focusing on particular dates or periods in London's history]' -- Sunday Times 20041205 'You can't help reading this and thinking: this is what it was really like' -- Guardian 20050409 'A wonderfully vivid and evocative portrait' -- Sunday Telegraph 20050410 'Maureen Waller's social history of the capital in the final year of war is utterly gripping in its portrait of a population that "could not be talked down to."' -- Telegraph 20050402 'One of the many strengths of Waller's engrossing survey of London life through the long twilight of war and the chilly dawn of peace is her attention to the rough times, not rosy nostalgia.' -- Independent 20050429 'Waller vividly recreates the city during those 12 months of transition between war and peace and provides a compelling account of how Londoners reacted to destruction and deprivation and prepared to rebuild what had been lost.' -- Sunday Times 20050424 'This is a rich, evocative protrait of London amid the death throes of war.' -- Daily Mail 20050422
Maureen Waller read Medieval & Modern History at University College, London and took a Master's at Queen Mary College, London. She is the author of 1700: Scenes from London Life and Ungrateful Daughters: The Stuart Princesses Who Stole their Father's Crown. She lives in London.