Reading in the Great War 1917–1919 (Kindle)
As featured on BBC News Online
Reading in the Great War 1917-1919 looks at life in an important industrial and agricultural town in the south of England. The book charts the changes that occurred in ordinary people's lives, some caused by the war, some of their own doing.
On the surface, Reading was a calm town that got on with its business: beer, biscuits, metalwork, seeds and armaments, but its poverty impacted on industrial relations leading to strikes. It was also a God-fearing, hard-working and sober town. However, underneath it had a darker side, all of it exposed in this book: drunkenness, desertion, suicide, child abuse, murder, double murder and underage sex; it was all there, happening when eyes were not watching.
This is a book about human relationships: to each other and the outside world, warts and all. It is a telling account of the human tragedies and triumphs of a nation at war and the day-to-day preoccupations of community attempting to find normality in a reality so far removed from anything they had ever known. Including over 100 unique and rarely seen illustrations and expertly written by a prolific author, this is an enriching read for anybody wishing take a glimpse beneath the surface of life on Reading's Home Front.
As featured on.BBC News