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  • Published: 5 March 2024
  • ISBN: 9781529920772
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • RRP: $24.99

Tomorrow Perhaps the Future

Following Writers and Rebels in the Spanish Civil War

In our age of political divisions, this portrait of the women outsiders who took part in Spanish Civil War asks questions of solidarity and resistance

In our age of political divisions, this portrait of the women outsiders who took part in the Spanish Civil War asks questions of solidarity and resistance.

‘A fascinating study’

‘Engrossing and impressive’

In the 1930s, women and men from across the world made their way to Spain to be part of what they saw as a historic fight for freedom from fascism. Tomorrow Perhaps the Future follows extraordinary outsiders who were determined to live out their lives with courage and conviction.

Sarah Watling weaves together the experiences of a host of writers and activists, including Nancy Cunard, Martha Gellhorn, Jessica Mitford and Virginia Woolf, and searches out the stories of the photographer Gerda Taro and the Harlem nurse Salaria Kea. Throughout, she explores solidarity, art and resistance, finding answers that are as vital today as they were almost a century ago.


  • Published: 5 March 2024
  • ISBN: 9781529920772
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • RRP: $24.99

About the author

Sarah Watling

Sarah Watling was the 2016 winner of the Tony Lothian Prize. She holds a degree in history from the University of Cambridge and a master’s degree in historical research from the University of London. Noble Savages is her first book.

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Praise for Tomorrow Perhaps the Future

Fascinating and compellingly readable.

Paul Preston, author of The Spanish Holocaust

A brilliant, impassioned, and much-needed tribute to the women who used their art to fight fascism... Extraordinary and captivating.

Heather Clark, author of Red Comet

An intimate and nuanced exploration of what animated and sustained a group of prominent foreigners who took sides in the mortal ideological struggle against fascism that was the Spanish Civil War.

Brooke Kroeger, author of Undaunted

Brings the Spanish Civil War to freshly vivid life... She makes us feel their urgency as our own.

Judith Mackrell, author of Flappers

Provocative, compelling narratives of women on the front lines of fighting fascism... A powerful, moving cautionary tale for today.

Helen Zia, author of The Last Boat Out of Shanghai

History that hums with the urgency of now.

Joanna Scutts, author of Hotbed

In her exhilarating book, Sarah Watling follows a handful of brilliant intellectuals as they wrestle with the nature of duty in a morally complicated world.

Mail on Sunday

In her engrossing and impressive book, Sarah Watling looks at some of those women who went to war, not just to fight fascism or scratch the itch of adventure but also to show what women could do.

New Statesman

Group biographies are notoriously hard to write. But Watling knits together with considerable skill... She also intersperses her narrative with perceptive commentary.

Literary Review

Fascinating... Sarah Watling brings alive with great vividness a small cast of disparate characters who travelled to Spain during the Civil War... Watling brings all these passionate characters together with great aplomb.

Daily Mail

A fascinating study... Watling's protagonists are flawed but brave, battling fascism with guts.


Watling's study marks her determination to write women into the history books... This is a serious, scholarly work, which also brings her group of writers, poets and activists vividly to life.


Watling's narrative, inserting vivid glimpses of the conflict to situate her shuffling of a deck of characters who themselves embodied complex and evolving ideas, is expertly balanced.

Times Literary Supplement

Beautifully written. It evocatively and incisively weaves together the experiences of a select group of remarkable women in war... This book is not only very readable but also thought-provoking... The resonance of the book in our conflicted world is all too evident, existentially and morally.


Watling deploys a wealth of firsthand testimony and archival materials, not in service of a conventional work of history but in an extended consideration of contemporary concerns.

New Yorker

A corrective to those more publicised accounts from male writers reporting on the civil war... She's particularly fine on the question of confrontation or evasion when it comes to great evils, that writing in times of crisis is not for fence-sitters.


Glorious... The stories are so beautifully rendered, so powerful

Anna Funder, author of Wifedom