This sensational 1941 memoir of life on the frontline of wartime Europe by a ‘magnificent’ (Antony Beevor) trailblazing female reporter is a rediscovered classic, introduced by Christina Lamb: ‘I was blown away … The Forrest Gump of journalism … Incredible.’
Madrid in the Spanish Civil War
Prague during the Munich crisis
Berlin the day Germany invaded Poland
Helsinki as the Russians attacked
Moscow betrayed by the Nazis
Paris as it fell to the Germans
London on the first day of the Blitz
Virginia Cowles has seen it all.
As a pioneering female correspondent, she reported from Europe from the 1930s into the Second World War, watching ‘the lights in the death-chamber go out one by one’ from the frontline – always in the right place at the right time.
Flinging off her heels under shellfire; meeting Hitler (‘an inconspicuous little man’); gossiping with Churchill by his goldfish pond; dancing in the bomb-blasted Ritz; reading The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Socialism on a Soviet train; eating reindeer with guerrilla skiers … Introduced by Christina Lamb, Cowles’ incredible dispatches will make you an eyewitness to the twentieth-century as you have never experienced it before.
‘Passionate and vivid … A brave reporter and fine writer.’ Lindsey Hilsum (Channel 4 News, International Editor, and author of In Extremis; the Life of War Correspondent Marie Colvin)
What readers are saying:
The Forrest Gump of early World War II
The queen of historical name-dropping
Holy cow! What a wonderful find!!
Most unexpectedly great book that I have read in years. Reads like a novel [but] this is real life.
The best book I’ve read this year … Exquisitely written [day-to-day] drama of history … Breathtakingly fresh.
I can’t recommend this book enough. Cowles’ voice and humanity are her greatest assets, but her willingness to be where the action was – and always find trouble – paid off.
A marvel. Her ability to capture anecdotes and dialogue that offer surprising insights into historic personages and events is a frequent source of wonder. It was difficult for me not to drive my family crazy wanting to read them quotes.
The intrepid Virginia Cowles was in the right places at the right times and connected to the right people. What a life she led!