Welcome to this my blog - a record of my life with books and pictures

Monday, December 13, 2010

Singled Out!

I am a silly one. All that rambling back in October about G. C. Pain’s novel Surplus Women and I didn’t realise that the phrase “surplus women” was common currency in the years after the first world war. I spent the first few chapters of the novel wondering slightly when it was supposed to be set and of course had I done my research or been of an older generation, I would have known that Pain had announced the period setting in the very title itself. Maybe I should have read Virginia Nicholson’s excellent Singled Out – How Two Million Women Survived Without Men after the First World War, before. Oh well, you can’t have it all. Suffice to say that this is a super social history that will no doubt inform my reading for many years to come.


  1. There were so many women left, but surplus seems somehow an inappropriate word to describe them, don't you think.

    And I finally located 'Our Spoons Came from Woolworths' ... and am loving it. I ordered it and there were none left, so I had to begin again. Well worth the wait.

  2. I JUST got Nicholson's "Among the Bohemians" out at the library yesterday. I've never read anything by her...can you imagine being Virgina Woolf's great-neice?

  3. 'Singled Out' is superb!
    I'd also recommend George Gissing's novel 'The Odd Women'---set in the late nineteeth century and dealing with the 'spare women' issue which existed even before the devastating loss of potential male partners in the First World War.

  4. I have heard wonderful things about Singled Out, and I can't wait to read it. I love cultural histories. :)