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The War Workers

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  72 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Excerpt: VI THE new Canteen in Pollard Street was opened before Christmas. Lesbia Willoughby, in an immense overall of light blue-and-white check, stood behind a long buffet and demanded stridently whether she wasn't too exactly like a barmaid for words, and Char's consignment of helpers worked for the most part briskly and efficiently, only the unfortunate Miss Plumtree ...more
Paperback, 296 pages
Published May 1st 2009 by Kessinger Publishing (first published 1918)
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Nov 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, november-2017
I purchased a collection of E.M. Delafield's novel on my Kindle rather a long time ago, and found that I still had three novels outstanding. I chose to read The War-Workers first merely because it was the first title I had not read in the collection. What I found was a surprisingly complex and rather wonderful novel about a group of female workers on the British Home Front during the First World War. The characters are almost remarkably vivid, and Delafield comments throughout upon the class ...more
Jun 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
The War-Workers is an early novel from E M Delafield, published about twelve years before her most famous work The Diary of a Provincial Lady (which I re-read recently). This is one of the titles on the list of books for the LibraryThing Great war theme read – it was actually one of the books for March and April – I’ll be playing catch up for the rest of the year I think, and I am rather surprised at just how much I loved it.

This novel is not one which takes us to the trenches of the Western
Barbara Mader
Mar 13, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: wwii
free ebook from Project Gutenberg.

Set during World War I England, this story centers on a Lady Vivian, a 29-year-old woman who goes to great lengths to secure admiration for her, uh, selfless devotion to her war work managing a supply depot and other war service organizations in her region. Though projecting an image of herself as extremely efficient, her refusal to delegate and desire for control creates obstacles for others and a great deal of unnecessary work for herself and staff. Her staff
Austen to Zafón
Jul 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
I like E.M. Delafield. She wrote all the "Provincial Lady" books, which were largely auto-biographical accounts of her life as a wife and mother in a provincial village. I heard about this book, but couldn't find it at the library or in any used book store. I ended up buying a copy on ebay from Germany, a second edition signed by the author! I was excited. This story takes place during WWI, at a supply depot, where women young and old are doing their best to help out with the "war effort," under ...more
Heather Cawte
Jan 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
More a character study than a novel, this second work of E M Delafield's nevertheless keeps the reader's interest.

Written in 1917 about a group of women undertaking administrative war work under the leadership of Charmian Vincent, the only child of the local landed gentry in a provincial town, the story unfolds by the development of the characters of her cast, rather than by events. She has a marvellous ability to very sharply delineate a character from one or two deeds or utterances.

The main
Jul 18, 2012 rated it liked it
The War-Workers, was EM Delafield's second novel, written before she'd really honed her talents, and is not as entertaining as 'The Diary of a Provincial Lady'. I wouldn't recommend it as an introduction to EM Delafield, but it is an interesting and enjoyable read.

Set in the First World War, it's a social satire, slow to take off, and a little laboured in places, but sharply observed. The central character is Charmian Vivian, Director of The Midland Supply Depot who, according to her staff,never
Dec 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I first started reading this I thought I was in for a boring character study, but I was very wrong. This story picks-up really quickly, even though it doesn't really go anywhere. You are given a glimpse into the lives of a group of people for a series of time, leaving them after some events unfold, their lives changed but not drastically so. This short book was enjoyable to read and the characters are built in a way that you get sucked into their lives. I found myself rooting for certain ...more
Gareth Evans
Jun 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Perhaps a surprise that this is not better known. It is something of a rarity, a book set in the WW1, written in 1917 and focusing on women's war work. I suppose that it is more of a study in character and, as one of Delafield's earlier novels, lacks the sparkle and wot of her later work, it lacks the real punch that would make it better known. Nevertheless for fans of early 20th century fiction, this is a real joy. Very much of its time, relatively sharp and well written. A real joy to read.
Jan 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Et eligendi facere illo culpa animi pariatur. Accusantium autem ipsa itaque praesentium autem et fuga. Quam odit aliquid magni sint suscipit deserunt.
Little Red Readinghood
Wonderful book about the WW1 workers. Realistic, and full of recognizable types of people, some who I have worked with and one who was my boss.
Carol J Pennington-York

Why didn't I stop reading after the first chapter? This book focused on a smug, egomaniac who seems to do nothing more than spin her wheels.
Feb 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: general-fiction
Great character study and very entertaining.
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Jun 29, 2012
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Edmée Elizabeth Monica Dashwood, née de la Pasture (9 June 1890 – 2 December 1943), commonly known as E. M. Delafield, was a prolific English author who is best-known for her largely autobiographical Diary of a Provincial Lady, which took the form of a journal of the life of an upper-middle class Englishwoman living mostly in a Devon village of the 1930s, and its sequels in which the Provincial ...more