Vere Hodgson Jenny Hartley
- Title: Few Eggs and No Oranges: The Diaries of Vere Hodgson 1940-45
- Author: Vere Hodgson Jenny Hartley
- ISBN: 9780953478088
- Page: 404
- Format: Paperback
Vere Hodgson worked for a Notting Hill Gate charity during the Second World War being sparky and unflappable, she was not going to let Hitler make a difference to her life, but the beginning of the Blitz did, which is why she began her published diaries on 25 June 1940 Last night at about 1 a.m we had the first air raid of the war on London My room is just opposite tVere Hodgson worked for a Notting Hill Gate charity during the Second World War being sparky and unflappable, she was not going to let Hitler make a difference to her life, but the beginning of the Blitz did, which is why she began her published diaries on 25 June 1940 Last night at about 1 a.m we had the first air raid of the war on London My room is just opposite the police station, so I got the full benefit of the sirens It made me leap out of bed The war continued for five years, but Vere s comments on her work, friends, what was happening to London and the news We hold our breath over Crete , There is to be a new system of Warning combine to make Few Eggs and No Oranges unusually readable It is a long 600 page book but a deeply engrossing one The TLS remarked The diaries capture the sense of living through great events and not being overwhelmed by them they display an extraordinary though widespread capacity for not giving way in the face of horrors and difficulties A classic book that still rings vibrant and helpful today a heartwarming record of one articulate woman s coping with the war, wrote the Tallahassee Democratic Review.
Recent Comments "Few Eggs and No Oranges: The Diaries of Vere Hodgson 1940-45"
For an out-of-print book to be resurrected and reprinted in 2002, 2005, 2008 and 2010, one has to wonder how it went out of print in the first place. No matter - it is back, and readers once again have a reason to sing the praises of Persephone Books for getting an outstanding read back into our hands. Few Eggs is an abridgement (1940-45) of the extensive diaries of Vere Hodgson, who lived in London throughout WWII and experienced firsthand the privations of war on the Home Front. In sharing her [...]
Valuable as a bug's eye view of London during WWII, but sadly lacking in insight or introspection, resulting in essentially a 600-page laundry list of bombs and shortages. It would also benefit from some annotation.
This is a very long and, in some ways, tedious book. This diary is a first hand history document that basically records events and some personal reactions to the events but leaves the reader in the dark about the personality and deeper emotions of the writer. I think the value in the book is that you live with the author through the Blitz--the sounds of the airplanes overhead, the sounds of the falling bombs, the sounds of exploding buildings. You never know what is coming next. The sleep depriv [...]
I found this wartime diary of an ordinary Londoner really interesting. It took me a while to get into, before I became familiar with the various people mentioned. It's a weighty tome at over 600 pages, but easy to pick up and enjoy in small or large chunks.A fascinating insight into everyday life from air raids to rationing. Hodgson puts it into wider historical context with the mention of key events - such as battles or the sinking of an important ship - and speeches by Churchill and others.Thi [...]
I've had this on my shelf for a long time. Read it concurrently with Judith Jones so there must be something about December that makes me long to read about food — or lack of it. Hodgson lived in London during the war and this is her diary. In one sense it is a long, boring book: endless bombings and destruction, shortages of every imaginable item including food, fabric, soap, coal etc. Difficulties of traveling to see family and friends. And yet, it was equally enthralling. From the warmth an [...]
This book is subtitled "A Diary showing how Unimportant People in London and Birmingham lived through the war years", and that's a very good description of it. Hodgson, a social worker in Notting Hill, simply kept a record of what she and the people around her did on a daily basis during the war -- blitzes, blackouts, rationing, the whole bit -- and though it could easily have gotten repetitive, it's instead engaging, giving a vivid picture of civilian wartime life. I found her worship of Church [...]
I was so absorbed in this book that after a while it felt like I was living through the blitz with the author and her family and friends. It's a very straight forward read, and personal details about the author's inner life are few and far between, but you absolutely feel like you're there with Vere in her bedsit in Notting Hill. The historical details are invaluable to anyone interested in the time period.
Loved it so much that I immediately re-read it!
Few Eggs and No Oranges is a diary that I’ve been reading for some time – months in fact. Considering that I usually read two to three books a week, you might think that I didn’t like this book. Unfortunately, you’d be completely wrong because I really enjoyed this real-life diary of life as a Londoner during World War II and I wanted to savour each entry. It gives an account that is harrowing, scary and ultimately joyful of how the everyday English man and woman lived during the war. Ho [...]
Vere Hodgson's excerpts from her 1940-1945 diaries cover her day to day experiences during World War II in London --from her training as a fire warden, to the intensity of the Blitz, to rationing, to setting up her own apartment when it was difficult to get kitchenware and furnishings, to her day to day work as a sort of social worker, to listening to Churchill's speeches on the radio, to her weekend outings and visits home to her family in Birmingham. The daily details and unpretentious honesty [...]
I found this diary of life in London (and other parts of England, but mostly London) during World War II to be a very informative and interesting. I find the British Home Front during WWII to be absolutely fascinating, but it can be hard to find well-written and interesting books about the period, so to me this book was a gem. There are a lot of characters who are sort of in and out, because of the nature of the author's work, but after a while it's easier to sort them out (and there's a list of [...]
I've really liked this home-front diary. It is obvious that Vere Hodgson wrote it to be read by a broader public, because it is engaging and some times even humorous, and was conscious of the important times she was recording, for she is thorough about key events of Second World War and the effect they had on day-to-day life. Besides, even if she describes herself as a common Londoner, she had had direct contact with Mussolini as teacher of his daughter, and commented on some of the events with [...]
Although there are many diaries of London during the war, I found this fascinating for the detailed descriptions of London during the Blitz - Vere traipses around West London to the City and carefully notes damages from bombs, particularly on her beloved old churches. It's exciting to recognise street names and trying to picture what was swept away by bombs and incendiary fires in comparioson to what the streets she mentions looks like today. Also intriguing to read of the effect of rationing on [...]
I had a lot of trouble with the first 3 months of this diary when it seemed to me she was just cataloguing bombs and there was none of the housekeeping information that I expected from the title. But after that it did improve and became more of a record of living in London during World War II, as I expected.There is not much about housekeeping at first because Vere Hodgson was a single woman living in rented rooms, eating in cafes and working for a spiritualist organisation. But as it goes on, w [...]
Few Oranges and No Eggs by Vere HodgsonI thoroughly enjoyed reading this diary of Vere Hodgson who was a social worker living in the Notting Hill Gate area of London during WWII. Her account of the Blitz, and life in London during the War is a fascinating account of the everyday lives of ordinary people. The diary is full of detail about the lack of sleep, the difficulties of traveling, the lack of food (particularly fruit and eggs, hence the title), the responsibilities of being a fire-watcher [...]
Obviously this book is great because it is a real WWII diary. It is long and I took a long time to read it putting it aside then picking it up again. The diary entries are written in a journalistic type of style, very factual. It is based entirely in London and surrounds. I battled to follow at times because I don't know London (that would have helped) and also it would have helped to have a more detailed knowledge of the events of WWII (although summaries of main events are given). She is a sin [...]
I must agree with a previous review who said that in many ways, this is a tedious book that really doesn't give you much of an insight to the author's personality and innermost thoughts. Truthfully, it took a little while for me to get into it, but once I did, I was hooked. What a valuable resource.I must STRONGLY recommend "On The Other Side: Letters to my Children From Germany 1940-1946" by Mathilde Wolff-Monckeberg as a companion novel. This one is much more personal, and much more difficult [...]
This book, Vere Hodgson's diary from the years 1940-1945, is a fascinating glimpse at the day-to-day life of an ordinary woman in wartime London. Yes, it is long, and slows down in a few spots, but overall it is compelling reading. Her descriptions of the near-constant bombing (particularly during the Blitz and the "baby Blitz") truly bring home what the population was enduring. She also covers food shortages, extremely difficult traveling situations, the progress of the war, etc. Definitely rec [...]
It is interesting to read the first hand, contempory account of a Londener during the war. It conveys the sheer misery of the blitz, the fear induced by the V rockets and the privations of everyday life. Whilst Vere Hodgson's diary is of interest, it can be a little samey. Her life was, I suppose, quite ordinary (a great attraction to an empathetic reader), but 520 pages of really quite a small amount of drama can be a little soporific. Certainly a worthwhile and strangely comforting read, but n [...]
Fascinating reading from start to finish, I was hooked. This is a day to day report on what it was like to live in London in WW2. This book should be made part of the school history curriculum. The terror and yet mundanity of bombs falling on your head from day to day can only be related by one who was there - and we should continue to understand and learn from this. it is also an excellent record of rationing and travel as Vere recorded her food headaches and joys, and her trips home to Birming [...]
For a nearly 600 page lbs-er of a book, Few Eggs and No Oranges is an enjoyable first-hand account of life in London during WWII. Describing herself as 'an ordinary commonplace Londoner' in the diary's foreword, Vere Hodgson's almost meticulous and straightforward 'recording' of life during wartime makes for a thoughtful and interesting read. Hodgson's endearing personality is also a plus, reflective of the Make Do and Mend mentality the British embraced in that time of rationing and shortage. D [...]
Vere Hodgson's wartime diary of her years living in London during the Blitz is really interesting. At the same time as it is an incredibly depressing record of destruction and death, but it is also an uplifting account of human endurance and tenacity. It's also interesting to see an un-PC account of the war: Vere's bias and prejudices probably explain a good deal why people were so eager to go to war a second time.
This book is the 1940-1945 excerpt of a diary kept by a woman working in London throughout World War II. I have read many compilations of such journals as well as Nellie Last's journals, but this was the first one I've read from one continuous viewpoint based in London throughout the War. I found the continuity valuable and was interested throughout in her observations and her life.
I was initially drawn to this book as it is published by Persephone. The endpapers and bookmark are exquisite.I enjoy reading books set during and between the wars and this was a hit.Go, buy, enjoy.
This will be of great interest to social historians. Vere Hodgson, is a wonderful if not a little pompous English diarist. It's an interesting example of ordinary people's lives on the 'Home Front' and vividly details life during the Blitz in London.
This non-fiction diary by a welfare worker who worked in London during the Blitz was an eye opener for me. Unbelievable courage and perseverance to survive in those war years of deprivation. Through it all she kept an upbeat, sunny attitude.
As a long time reader of history and fiction centering around England in the 30s and 40s, I expected to like this a lot more than I did. But I found Vere more annoying than endearing, and even her accounts of the Blitz did not move me as other books have done.
Great for research - really get the texture of ordinary life in wartime London.
Another hit from Perspehone, it's funny as well as a page turner, it describes daily life in WW2 without making everyone who experienced the Blitz seem like a saint
It is undoubtedly an important record of the time but it is rather long and repetitive.
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