Best Book Publishers UK | Austin Macauley Publishers
Diary of a Wartime Unmarried Mother-bookcover

By: Doreen Bates

Diary of a Wartime Unmarried Mother

Pages: 254 Ratings:
Book Format: Choose an option

*Available directly from our distributors, click the Available On tab below

This diary gives a remarkably vivid description of the life of Doreen Bates, a professional young woman, who went against the social norms of her time to intentionally have twins fathered by an older married, but childless, colleague in the Inland Revenue, where they both worked as Income Tax Inspectors. At the time the twins were born Doreen did not know if their father could, or would, form part of the family. In the event, he was able to make frequent visits and helped practically, emotionally and financially with the childrens’ upbringing.

The diary commences a few months after the twins were born. Doreen lived with them and a live-in nanny in South London where they experienced relentless days and nights of enemy bombing. In 1944 the twins and their nanny were evacuated to the incomparably safer and beautiful rural setting of a Wiltshire village where Doreen joined them for every weekend.

In contrast to the chaos and fear that accompanied the wartime conditions, Doreen’s emotional life is much less turbulent than in the previous volume of her diary. This reflects the profound satisfaction she felt as a result of achieving her dream of having children. She was a remarkably enlightened parent. Her recording of their lives in this diary is detailed, intimate, and often humorous. Historical happenings are mentioned, but form only the incidental backdrop to her domestic and professional life.

“Brimming with soul, passion, candour and wit, the diaries of Doreen Bates are an extraordinary read, giving a vivid insight into the life of a woman unvanquished by her time, a woman who leaps from the page so strikingly that you feel your pulse beating in time with hers. Edited in an act of great love and generosity by her children, they should take their place as one of the essential diaries of the twentieth century for the window they offer into another world, another heart.”

– Lucy Caldwell

Doreen Bates was born in 1906 and died in 1994. Brought up in South London, she attended Croydon High School and read history at Royal Holloway College. Doreen joined the civil service as a trainee inspector of taxes in 1927 and met a more senior colleague, William Evans, with whom she formed an intense, mutual emotional bond. He was married, but childless, and Doreen came to long for a child fathered by him. This longing was fulfilled with the arrival of undiagnosed twins, a boy and a girl, in 1941, whom she, along with their father, nurtured while at the same time pursuing a professional career in the stressful conditions created in London during the Second World War. She wrote this remarkably vivid diary documenting her life during this time.

Customer Reviews
0 reviews
0 reviews
Write a Review
Your post will be reviewed and published soon. Multiple reviews on one book from the same IP address will be deleted.

We use cookies on this site to enhance your user experience and for marketing purposes.
By clicking any link on this page you are giving your consent for us to set cookies