"The wartime stories, all three commissioned by John for New Writing, are moving, funny and impressionistic, giving a vivid picture of domestic life at Aldworth under the wearisome restrictions of war. They also provide a touching celebration of maternal love, with lifelike portraits of Hugo and Sally (John and Jane), she cheerful and impulsive, he sensible and resourceful, barely managing to control a masculine exasperation with the silliness of the womenfolk." From Rosamond Lehmann A Life by Selina Hastings
Books by Rosamond Lehmann (1904 to 1990)
"When the Waters Came"
"A Dream of Winter"
Wonderful Holidays - A Novella
With the reading of these three World War Two era works, I think I have completed my read though of Rosamond Lehmann's fiction and her memoir and theories on spiritualism The Swan in the Evening Fragments of an Inner Life.
Selina Hastings considers two World War Two short stories and the Novella Wonderful Holidays to rank with the very best of the work of Lehmann.
The first two works are not long, with estimated reading times of six and twelve minutes focus on families life, dealing with war time austerity and rationing and the war about loved one's in the military services. The risk of air raids or rocket attacks from the Germans was less in rural England as the distance from London increased but was a possibility.
Wonderful Holidays, Lehmann says of it "The third and longest, ‘Wonderful Holidays’, a superb piece of work, closely founded in fact, was serialised in four issues of New Writing during 1944–5, and describes the somewhat hectic staging of a revue to be performed in support of relief packages for soldiers and sailors, is really an enchanting work and a could way to finish up a first read through of Lehmann. It shows how rural children from comfortable families dealt with the war.
I will soon to a post on my observations on completing a read through of Lehmann's oevere and an account of why I undertook this effort.