Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Great War's Forgotten Victims

An English book review notes that "that after the devastation of the first world war, steadiness [in love and marriage] was valued above all" — From here to eternity.

The reviewer mentions "the 'surplus women' panic after the 1921 census," informing us, "For a nation mourning its dead, the statistics were shocking: women outnumbered men by nearly 2m. This is something Virginia Nicholson explored in her moving 2007 book 'Singled Out', about the profound impact of the war on attitudes to marriage and spinsterhood during the interwar period and beyond."

How profoundly sad. Two million "surplus" women? It is easy to visualize the horrific suffering of the poor boys on the fields depicted in the great Wilfred Owen's "Dulce et Decorum Est", but what of the long loneliness of these two million girls whom these boys would have come home to, or rather, should have stayed home with?

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