“Written forcefully and with some dash, this witty book is required reading for anyone interested in the detective story’s progress.” Julian Symons, The Sunday Times“
‘“A brilliantly conducted inquiry, as good as the best of detective stories in itself. Beautifully written and most rewarding reading with new insights into Agatha Christie and other leading ladies of crime fiction.” A.L.Rowse
Why are respectable English women so good at murder?
The intriguing phenomenon of the female crime writer is explored with an account of the Grandes Dames of the traditional detective novel. There are chapters on D.L. Sayers, Margery Allingham, Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, Josephine Tey and consideration of many others. These women’s lives were ostensibly peaceful, conventional, conformist and ‘respectable.’ So what was it in their experience which gave them such violent imaginations and made them excel in what might seem a most unlikely field?
This book attempts to answer that question.
“Mann’s book is a gut-wrenchingly moving but perfectly balanced account of a forgotten episode of British history, of parental love and childhood hurt, the brilliance of which comes from the lack of sentiment or judgment. Sometimes the facts are heartbreaking enough.”* Guardian
“A fascinating book… Jessica Mann has done an excellent job in drawing together accounts by dozens of evacuees and weaving them into an absorbing narrative with plenty of contemporary questions… OUT OF HARM’S WAY is a splendid piece of social history, detailed in a human-interest way, rich with anecdotes, full of documentation and underpinning; and it is sometimes very moving… Mann’s witness deserves a distinguished place in 20th-century history.” Anthony Thwaite, Evening Standard
May 1940: Britain expected enemy invasion. Despite Churchill’s determination to fight on the beaches, many parents made desperate efforts to send their children abroad to safety. Nearly half the nation’s children were on a waiting list for overseas evacuation when on 17 September 1940 SS City of Benares was torpedoed mid-Atlantic, with the loss of 255passengers, including 84 child evacuees. The great exodus ceased, but those already overseas had to spend several years far away from home. This book describes their lives, how they coped and also how they found life back home on their return.
“Jessica Mann analyses the decade with forensic precision – stripping away the rose-coloured specs for good.” Daily Mail
“thoughtful and emphatic … a richly readable and persuasive piece of work.” Spectator
“She recalls the grime of the 50s: endless stinking nappy buckets; smog; inadequate washing facilities; body odour whenever people were crowded together. She recalls boredom and isolation, and suspects both the child-rearing experts and the government of a concerted push to get mothers back home after the war, so that there would be jobs for the returning ‘boys’. And she recalls the unacceptability of talking, or sometimes even knowing, about sex, female anatomy, and cancer. She is bang on.” Baroness Neuberger, Jewish Chronicle
Many young women ‘long to put the clock back to the post-war years when life seemed prettier and nicer’. This book demolishes such preconceptions about their mothers’ or grandmothers’ young days, showing that in reality life was uglier and nastier and describing growing up in the post-war era of austerity, restrictions and hypocrisy, before anyone even dreamed of Women’s Lib. The Fifties Mystique is both a personal memoir and a polemic. In explaining the lives of pre-feminists to the post-feminists of today, the author discusses the period’s very different attitudes to sex, childbirth, motherhood and work, describes how she and other young women lived in that distant world with its forgotten restrictions and warns against taking hard-won rights for granted.
“This book is a tribute to the history, artistic and literary allure of Godrevy, and the romance between the authors which started there. It is a fascinating compilation of the many different ways in which a lighthouse can be portrayed.” South West Soundings
The jagged reef of rocks off Godrevy Point, lay right across the natural navigation course for the harbours of Hayle and St. Ives. The reef claimed many victims culminating in the loss of the steamship Nile with all its passengers and crew in 1854.This tragic incident caused a national outcry and persuaded Trinity House to build a lighthouse on Godrevy island. Godrevy Lighthouse is a beautiful ad iconic structure, the inspiration of artists, photographers, poets and writers, including Virginia Woolf.
This book tells the story of Godrevy Light, and describes its representation in art and literature. It is illustrated by works of art, nearly all part of the authors’ own collection.
Godrevy Light was written by Charles Thomas and Jessica Mann to celebrate their Golden Wedding. and was not sent out for review.