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Nella Last in the s: The Further Diaries of Housewife, +. Nella Last's War: The Second World War Diaries of Housewife, Total price: $ Add all.
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It's worth remarking that the originals she sent in to MO must have been first drafts. She writes too much on a daily basis to have been making fair copies, and this was of course years before computers allowed the rest of us the luxury of infinite drafts. Nella's optimism about the scientific advances of her age make for salutary reading. How quaint, we say, because so many of those improvements are now obsolete: As well as the selection of diary entries, useful appendices set Nella's diary in its historical context.

As with previous volumes, I'd recommend this book to anyone needing a feel — or authentic detail — about the early s. A Childhood Memoir by Brian Keenan. You can read more book reviews or buy Nella Last in the s: Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.

Nella Last

Nella Last in the s: Retrieved from " http: Will is suffering from--what, exactly? Or just a manipulative power trip? From blithely "taking no notice" as she did during the war, when she felt her war work was paramount, Nella slips back into pandering to Will's every whim and mood. He is being treated with hypnosis, with limited success. It made me remember that in the s there were still a lot of tropes dogging psychiatry: Well, maybe in Hollywood; in real life, not so much.

There's also the "empty nest" to contend with, as Cliff has gone to Australia and Arthur is married and living far away in N. She misses their support and intelligent conversation at every turn, as well as the crowd of young friends that always surrounded them. They both make brief reappearances in the diary but of course they're adults now with concerns of their own.

The editors picked and chose what seemed most interesting to them, but I wonder if the readership would agree? There is almost nothing about her relationship with Edith, her daughter in law, and yet we know she must have written about it. During the war, before they met, Nella spoke of her with such gladness At least for us. Her many trips to N. I hope the readers, like me, clamour for more Nella and get it. Sep 08, Carolynne rated it really liked it Shelves: I've read the first and third, and plan to read the middle installment, particularly since I know the years immediately post-war were harrowing for many English families.

More than the first book, this is heavily edited and yet contains more frank accounts of Nella's relationship with her husband Will, apparently afflicted with clinical depression, and more honest The third of Nella Last's diaries, begun for the Mass Observation program in Britain during WWII and continued until the mid 's. More than the first book, this is heavily edited and yet contains more frank accounts of Nella's relationship with her husband Will, apparently afflicted with clinical depression, and more honest appraisals of her beloved sons Arthur and Cliff.

Parts of the diary read like a novel; it is every bit as interesting as some of the Miss Read books, if not quite as polished. Not as exciting as the first book, when diary entries were as likely to contain accounts of bombings survived in a cramped shelter as of the meals she contrived to make tasty out of a scrap of fish from the fishmonger, a leftover heel of bread, and a tin saved from a holiday meal, topped off with a sweet made from the last bit of the sugar ration of the month.

While this diary is less thrilling and inspiring than the first, it still drew me from the very first entry. Feb 24, Joanne rated it really liked it. I was sad to say goodbye to Nella. Then I made rice pudding, banana bread, gingerbread, biscuits, and soup.

My Friend Irma: Psycholo / Newspaper Column / Dictation System

It was my daughter's birthday. She said, "I hope you read her books again next year. Nov 26, Christopher Newton rated it really liked it Shelves: Everything a diary should be, by one of the true diarists. Mar 01, Josie rated it really liked it Shelves: I love Nella Last so much, and I'm sad to have come to the end of her diaries! There isn't much I have to say about this book -- it's much the same as Nella Last's Peace , and is full of the everyday details of life that I love, such as when Nella mentions a couple who receive "three electric clock [Audiobook version] As we ate lunch I asked my husband, 'What would you like to do, short of putting your head in the gas oven?

There isn't much I have to say about this book -- it's much the same as Nella Last's Peace , and is full of the everyday details of life that I love, such as when Nella mentions a couple who receive "three electric clocks -- one for the bedroom and two for downstairs" as a wedding present. Yet despite the different times she lived in, I think a lot of Nella's attitudes and sensibilities were quite modern. I enjoyed her outrage after she saw a man, who was delivering bread, wipe his nose on his hand before handling the unwrapped bread: I felt my stomach turn over.

I've often noticed assistants coughing and sneezing into handkerchiefs, put them back into their pockets and reach for cakes, and felt that what I couldn't bake I'd do without. I was once told in Canteen I had a 'neurosis' -- he was a smarty college conchie and he was referring to my firm refusal to let the boys on 'lamp' or heavy oil fatigue take sandwiches or cake into their filthy hands. We wrapped a wee piece of paper on one side to hold them by. This morning I really felt sick , yet realised there were much more unhygienic tricks we never saw Apr 14, Janet Gogerty rated it it was amazing.

I didn't realise there was a third book, spotted it in a clearance book shop for a pound - a treasure found! Like being reunited with an old friend. Nella Last wrote many many thousands of words over many years so we can only experience a dipping into them. How we would all love that our own grandparents and great grandparents had contributed so diligently to Mass Observation - a far better glimpse into recent history than the census.


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Nella's observation of friends, family and her own husband ar I didn't realise there was a third book, spotted it in a clearance book shop for a pound - a treasure found! Nella's observation of friends, family and her own husband are delightful, but how we feel for her and admire her for carrying on. She has a little help in the house, but is busy with a fascinating round of home baking and preparing delicious picnics for the outings to the Lake District, for relaxation she loves sewing and listening to the radio, by the end of this volume she had no desire to acquire a television and remarked on the number of aerials popping up in the neighbourhood.

It is nothing new for families to move away and this happens to Nella, leading to tales poignant and amusing. Aug 22, Anita Arentshorst rated it liked it.

Nella Last in the 1950s

After seeing Housewife, 49 this is a bit disappointing. Most is about her husband's health, and trips to the coast or the Lake District. Jan 06, Veronica rated it really liked it Shelves: The third and possibly final? I loved Nella from her first volume. This one certainly has less going on than the wartime diaries but it's still quite fascinating and thought-provoking.

Nella is intelligent, observant, and critical, and uses her diary to mull over all sorts of topics from the personal to the political. She tells you so much about social norms and day-to-day life in the s, sometimes surpri The third and possibly final?

She tells you so much about social norms and day-to-day life in the s, sometimes surprising you. I knew that rationing was still going on of course, but I was still quite surprised that scheduled power cuts were a weekly occurrence accepted with resignation and "making do", and there were desperate shortages of essentials like coal. Elsewhere, Nella talks about some black nurses at the hospital whom she has happily chatted with, complimenting them on their work; an unusually enlightened attitude for the time.

But then she describes recoiling in horror on seeing the young children of a black doctor and his white wife: I did feel sorry for her having to deal for so long and so thanklessly with her husband's mental health problems. It's not clear what caused them, but he appears to be suffering from severe depression and also separation anxiety. She has the patience of a saint.

He has always had a curious way of hoarding up "slights" and "snubs", but since he has been ill it has grown worse. His mind acts like a stopped-up drain, slowly gathering odds and ends of tea leaves, and odd scraps of vegetables that putrefied slowly -- anything and everything that would tend to block a drain. Then when it's unstopped it's amazing what has gone to the accumulation! I know he hates me to talk to anyone unless he is there, but his rage took the form of "Fearing you will catch more cold -- you never think of the bother you give people" What a marvellous metaphor.

This extract makes him sound almost psychologically abusive, but luckily Nella doesn't tamely buckle under and sometimes "gets on her top note" with him, making "fur and feathers fly". But she still generally goes to extreme lengths not to upset him. As in previous volumes, one of her great solaces is their outings to the countryside nearby. She writes lyrically about nature.

I loved the moment where she is tempted to pick a bunch of yellow coltsfoot but then pauses: It seemed greedy to take them for my own tea table in my little crystal vase when they could flaunt and shout their yellow joy to motorists passing. It's a shame she never knew what pleasure her writing would give to others.

I wonder what she could have done with her life if she'd had more freedom.

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Even as it was, she definitely improved the lives of her friends and family. I found this copy in a charity shop not that long ago thinking it would be nice to finish the trilogy of diaries and see what happened later to Nella. This fact continued to irritate me mildly through the first part of the book. Nella Last — was an ordinary woman in many ways.

Nella Last in the s: Further diaries of Housewife, 49 by Nella Last

Yet when she began to write diaries for the Mass Obse I found this copy in a charity shop not that long ago thinking it would be nice to finish the trilogy of diaries and see what happened later to Nella. Yet when she began to write diaries for the Mass Observation she found her voice. It proved to be a quite extraordinary one too.


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Her observations of her family, friends and neighbours with whom she had shared the war years in Barrow certainly made for fascinating reading in the first book of her diaries. Although what I particularly liked in that book was the minute recreation of daily life for ordinary people during those long and difficult war years. Nella does comment a lot however, about politics — both nationally and locally, never frightened to say what she means.

She too, is unfailingly honest — admitting for instance to a certain amount of colour prejudice. She is a wonderful observer of people and here too she is quick to criticise those she finds hard to understand. Nella delights in occasional trips into the Lakeland countryside; bargains found on market days, celebrates the good news of one neighbour while condoling over the fate of another. Never have I seen that quiet lake more serene and lovely. Its glass-like surface was a phantasy of shadows of fell and hil, difficult to tell where shadow ended and substance began.

Such a wonderful day for Donald Campbell — a country man answered us there had been several such days — a real worry for him and his staff when they are away fixing up yet another something or other. Nella must have been one of the few that kept on religiously, the finding of this experiment were to form the basis of several important social history books of the decade.

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Nella kept on with her diary right up to her death in Among the most striking passages is that which describes her response to the dropping of the atomic bombs in A vivid and characteristically distinctive account of those uncertain years poised between austerity and affluence. It confirms Nella Last's status as one of the major twentieth-century English diarists. It's wonderful to be back in Nella's world again. Such emotional candour, so many entertaining little personal battles. Unquestionably one of the great British diaries of the midth century. Nella Last's diaries give a fascinating and detailed account of life in the early s.

The prose is such a delight to read - lively, entertaining, observational and vividly realised. Web development by Firsty Group. This website requires cookies to provide all of its features. For more information on what data is contained in the cookies, please see our Cookie Notice.