LOVE IN THE BLITZ By Eileen Alexander

Love in the Blitz: The Long Lost letters of a Brilliant Young Woman to Her Beloved on the Front came about from a lucky buy at an auction. These fascinating letters from Eileen Alexander to the man she loves, Gershon Ellenbogen (sadly, Gershon’s letters to Eileen are lost) give an intimate view of life in London during World War II. I found Eileen’s insights into the response of Londoners to the Luftwaffe bombing of their city very moving.

When the war starts, Gershon is sent to Cairo to work for the British Military Intelligence in the Royal Air Force. Eileen leaves her studies at Girton College, Cambridge to work for the Air Ministry to assist in the war effort.

Young love might be the purest. Eileen’s passionate letters show her love and her loneliness for the man she will eventually spend most of her life with. If you’re interested in World War II from the ground level, Love in the Blitz reveals plenty of surprising details. If you’re looking for a real romance between two youngsters dealing with a world war that keeps them apart, Love in the Blitz will move you, too. GRADE: A

Table of Contents

Foreword Oswyn Murray vii

Historical Introduction David Crane xv

1 Drumnadrochit, summer 1939 3

September 1939-April 1940 17

2 ‘No time to sit on brood’ 19

May-September 1940 55

3 My Young Fellow 59

September-December 1940 97

4 Blitz 101

January-March 1941 143

5 Intentions 145

March-September 1941 165

6 A Rill Civil Servant 167

September-December 1941 199

7 Your Intended 201

January-May 1942 229

8 Separation 231

May-December 1942 243

9 Limbo 245

January 1943-March 1944 315

10 The Long Wait 317

April 1944-March 1946 447

11 Twin Compasses 449

Postscript 465

Dramatis Personae 467

Illustration Credits 473

14 thoughts on “LOVE IN THE BLITZ By Eileen Alexander

    1. george Post author

      Patti, I agree. A couple set of letters would have been enlightening. But, at least we have these emotional, insightful, and loving letters.

  1. Jeff Meyerson

    Sounds great. I’ve read a lot of collections of letters, as well as books on the Blitz. Also read Mollie Panter-Downes LONDON WAR NOTES, written for The New Yorker.

    You keep writing about interesting books that make my list of books longer!

  2. maggie mason

    No comment on the book, but an unrelated PSA My paper had a small mention of the stimulus If you didn’t get a check or card (one of my friends got the card) by the 15th, you will have to claim it for a refund on your taxes for 2020

    1. george Post author

      Maggie, I’ve read that too. The 15th seems to be a firm deadline for this round of stimulus. But more Stimulus Payments will be coming from the Biden Administration.

  3. Jeff Smith

    The publisher Persephone Books in London has released a number of books like this, both fiction and nonfiction. Primarily they do books by women writers which were once popular but are now forgotten. Their two biggest successes have been the rediscovery of Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, and one of the quintessential “women’s fiction” writers, Dorothy Whipple — many of their readers love her, and Persephone has to reprint the books constantly; others read one and are done.

    But they do a lot of books about life during wartime in Britain — both wars. I recommend looking at their catalog online, which is enjoyable reading even if you don’t intend to buy anything. (As a British small press, their books probably won’t be in American libraries.)

    As it happens, I just today started reading their edition of a Frances Hodgson Burnett novel I’d never heard of, The Shuttle — about the transatlantic traffic in American heiresses looking for marriage to titled Englishmen.

    1. Jeff Meyerson

      True. The Mollie Panter-Downes collection of wartime short stories GOOD EVENING, MRS, CRAVEN was a Persephone Book. I also read and very much enjoyed MISS PETTIGREW LIVES FOR A DAY (by Winifred Watson). The movie adaptation was very enjoyable and a pretty faithful version.


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