Dear Mrs Bird
Uplifting tale of friendship
London, 1941. Amid the falling bombs Emmeline Lake dreams of becoming a fearless Lady War Correspondent. Unfortunately, Emmy instead finds herself employed as a typist for the formidable Henrietta Bird, the renowned agony aunt at Woman’s Friend magazine. Mrs Bird refuses to read, let alone answer, letters containing any form of Unpleasantness, and definitely not those from the lovelorn, grief-stricken or morally conflicted.
But the thought of these desperate women waiting for an answer at this most desperate of times becomes impossible for Emmy to ignore. She decides she simply must help and secretly starts to write back – after all, what harm could that possibly do?
Part of our ‘Beyond the Book’ Series. View
Brit Lit podcast with guest AJ Pearce, the author of Dear Mrs. Bird , a lovely novel about female friendship set in World War II’s London. Emmy is determined to be a Lady War Correspondent, but instead finds herself working for the redoubtable Mrs Bird at the problem page of a Women’s Magazine. AJ spoke to me about how she put herself in the shoes of women who lived during the blitz, the challenges of using real events in her fiction, and her own favourite World War II novels.Play
Seven publishers were in a bidding war to secure AJ Pearce’s debut novel Dear Mrs Bird. The author comes in to talk about the book in which a young woman dreams of becoming a lady war correspondent during the Blitz but instead is employed as the assistant to a formidable agony aunt at a failing women’s magazine. Interview starts at 18 mins.Play
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Woman’s Own was one of the most popular post-war women’s magazines in Britain. Once the food rationing of the war years ended, the magazine began pedalling a slimming mantra. By the mid-1960s, it had elevated dieting to centre stage of its weekly beauty advice. Many of today’s weight-loss diets bear striking similarities with those of the 50s and 60s.Play
Writer and audio producer Jessica Weisberg talks with Recode’s Kara Swisher about her new book, “Asking for a Friend: Three Centuries of Advice on Life, Love, Money, and Other Burning Questions from a Nation Obsessed.” Starting in 1690s London, Weisberg examines how advice became a cultural force in America, and how professional advice-givers presaged the internet by creating the first platform for people to ask difficult questions anonymously.Play
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They have been doling out advice for centuries. And, as a new book reveals, they also offer a unique view of how society has changed down the years.Read Article
Private questions, answered in public, are a window into the great anxieties of our times.Read Article
This book provides a full commentary on home life during those wartime years. Drawing on an unrivalled collection of contemporary women’s magazines, the authors have extracted features, fashion tips, morale-boosting stories, mottoes and recipes to present a panoramic view of women’s shifting roles.Read Article
This is a funny (really funny), warm, moving story about love, friendship and courage during the London blitz of 1941. What separates it from other novels set in WW2 is that is doesn’t adopt a sepia-toned, sentimental nostalgia.Read Article
AJ Pearce author website
AJ Pearce author websiteVisit Website
Book: Asking for a Friend
A history of advice columns by Jessica WeisbergRead
Magazine: The Vintage Woman
The Vintage Woman Magazine – A Vintage Online Lifestyle BibleRead
1940s Magazines for Women
Buy 1940s Magazines for Women on Ebay.Buy