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British Women's Writing, 1930 to 1960Between the Waves$
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Sue Kennedy and Jane Thomas

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781789621822

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789621822.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 22 October 2021

Re-presenting Wrens

Re-presenting Wrens

Nancy Spain’s Thank You – Nelson (1945), Eileen Bigland’s The Story of the WRNS (1946), Vera Laughton Matthews’s Blue Tapestry (1948) and Edith Pargeter’s She Goes to War (1942)

(p.123) Chapter Seven Re-presenting Wrens
British Women's Writing, 1930 to 1960

Chris Hopkins

Liverpool University Press

Chris Hopkins focuses on how wartime participation in the Wrens was represented during and immediately after the war by exploring the written forms in which Wrens were characterized and how these forms were put into the wider context of wartime popular writing about servicemen and particularly about the Royal Navy. Writing about women’s service experience has not yet been adequately studied, though a significant number of women took part. The essay deals with some of the documentary writing that forms a rich context for the only wartime novel written by a servicewoman about the Wrens, Edith Pargeter's She Goes to War (1942), a Naval fiction/documentary unexpectedly engaging with the agenda of the People's War. The essay argues that this neglected writing tells a significant story about women in war-time Britain and as such is important for understanding the experience of servicewomen, opening debates about society, gender and class.

Keywords:   Wrens, Royal Navy, wartime, documentary, People’s War, gender, class

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