Night Thoughts of a Country Landlady

Edith Olivier

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28 August 2014
108 pages

"When the War drove her to fill the house with strange guests, it also drove her to fill her diary with strange thoughts... This broadened hospitality, and these unaccustomed contacts, completely changed for the time the character of English country life."

In this fascinating work, Edith Olivier explores the diaries left to her by her friend and neighbour, Miss Emma Nightingale. The account explores the arrival of both evacuees and soldiers to Miss Nightingale's village after the outbreak of World War II. Her musings on acting as a boarding house during this time are vivid and appealing chronicles of both rural life in World War II, and the varied and engaging individuals who were involved in this great struggle.

This is a record of the war as told through the people left behind in England to live their lives against its all-encompassing backdrop, and who did so with quiet contemplation and an overwhelming sense of hospitality.

Sadly Miss Nightingale did not see the war come to an end, and many of those she cared for did not have the chance to thank her. But she could not have a finer memorial than this lovely little book.