Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Pictures, Not Words

Here are a few posters from England during World War II; the world of my novels.

The blackouts throughout the country began immediately. You literally couldn't see your hand in front of your face and there were incidents of people walking into lightposts. You were allowed a flashlight - but the light had to be cut down to a small slit. People who had lived in London their entire lives found themselves wandering about the streets completely lost. However, you could look up and see the stars - something that Londoners hadn't been able to do for centuries.




Evacuation of children from London began early. There are many stories here, some good, some bad, some tragic.
Fear of German spies was rampant. These posters were posted throughout Great Britain.


Women's roles changed drastically during the war. On the one hand, women were the ones responsible for literally keeping the home fires burning. The rationing made cooking a challenge, to put it mildly.

But on the other hand, women were needed in the factories, to help in the building of planes, etc. And then, there are the posters which kept morale high (or as high as could be expected).



It was a time. I can't imagine placing my stories anywhere else.

17 comments:

  1. Elspeth - I got a lump in my throat just looking at these posters and thinking of the enormous sacrifices and incredible bravery of those people. They truly were, as Tom Brokaw put it, the greatest generation, and we owe them much. Thank you for reminding us, and I can't blame you one bit for wanting your novels to take place during that time.

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  2. I agree whole heartedly with Margot's comments. Those posters say it all and remind us how thankful we should be.

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  3. Margot; These posters capture the time, don't they? I find them very moving.

    Mason; We should indeed be thankful, but remember that they were placed in an extraordinary situation. People can be capable of great things at any time.

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  4. My students are just finishing World War II and have looked at a lot of propaganda posters. I love seeing the different messages from the Allies and Axis powers. Those posters are powerful!

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  5. Stephanie; The posters from both sides is fascinating. It was a time of extremes.

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  6. ARE fascinating. *hangs head in shame*

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  7. I love these posters. Thanks for putting them up. I think we could all learn a lot if we studied that period.

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  8. I'm currently reading a book called The Night Watch by Sarah Waters and it's set in 1940s London and she goes into great details about the war. I love the posters you put up...what a lot of work. Thank you.

    ann

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  9. Carol; I'm glad you liked them. It's a fascinating period.

    Ann; I've read THE NIGHT WATCH. I found it a wonderful portrait of the Blitz. Let me know what you think when you're done!

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  10. Love these old posters. What a setting to write in!

    Marvin D Wilson

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  11. The posters are fabulous and do so capture the time. I was just reading song lists from the 1930's and 40's and it does the same thing. Captures the spirit of the era. Can't wait to read your novels, Elspeth.
    karen

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  12. Old Silly; It's a period I just don't get tired of - I have shelves and shelves of books!

    Karen; What a kind thing to say - I can't wait for you to be able to read them! I just hope I'm good enough.

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  13. Such a powerful time in history. My parents grew up in Scotland during WWII. So many stories - such terrifying times.

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  14. Those are amazing! I can't wait to read your novel. I've always been drawn to WWII--movies, documentaries, books, all of it. Can't get enough.

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  15. Love them, Elspeth! I like this period and place as well. I wrote a play - Fields of Crimson - set in London in the WW2 - it was inspired by the story of two war artists - Bruno Bobak and Molly Lamb - both still alive I believe. It was fun to research that period and my dad was a pilot for the RCAF so he helped a lot. He was thrilled to see it staged too - it meant a great deal to me!

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