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About the book
  • Published: 15 February 2015
  • ISBN: 9780099556046
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • RRP: $27.99
Categories:

Zeppelin Nights

London in the First World War




A unique look at London during the First World War, seen through the eyes of the people who lived there by an acclaimed writer who ‘is to London as Boswell is to Johnson’

‘Zeppelin Nights is social history at its best… White creates a vivid picture of a city changed forever by war’ The Times
2018 marks the centenary of the end of the First World War. In those four decisive years, London was irrevocably changed. Soldiers passed through the capital on their way to the front and wounded men were brought back to be treated in London’s hospitals. At night, London plunged into darkness for fear of Zeppelins that raided the city. Meanwhile, women escaped the drudgery of domestic service to work as munitionettes. Full employment put money into the pockets of the poor for the first time. Self-appointed moral guardians seize the chance to clamp down on drink, frivolous entertainment and licentious behaviour.

Even against a war-torn landscape, Londoners were determined to get on with their lives, firmly resolved not to let Germans or puritans spoil their enjoyment. Peopled with patriots and pacifists, clergymen and thieves, bluestockings and prostitutes, Jerry White’s magnificent panorama reveals a battle-scarred yet dynamic, flourishing city.

‘Jerry White's name on a title page is a guarantee of a lively, compassionate book full of striking incidents and memorable images… This is a fast-paced social history that never stumbles… A well-orchestrated polyphony of voices that brings history alive’ Guardian

  • Pub date: 15 February 2015
  • ISBN: 9780099556046
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • RRP: $27.99
Categories:

About the Author

Jerry White

Professor Jerry White teaches London history at Birkbeck, University of London. He is the author of an acclaimed trilogy of London from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries. His more recent books include Mansions of Misery: A Biography of the Marshalsea Debtors' Prison and Zeppelin Nights, a social history of London during the First World War. He was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Literature by the University of London in 2005 and is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

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Praise for Zeppelin Nights

“Zeppelin Nights is social history at its best… White creates a vivid picture of a city changed for ever by war”

Robbie Millen, The Times

“Jerry White's name on a title page is a guarantee of a lively, compassionate book full of striking incidents and memorable images… This is a fast-paced social history that never stumbles… A well-orchestrated polyphony of voices that brings history alive”

Richard Davenport-Hines, Guardian

“White delivers in brilliant time-eclipsing detail an evolving and often deeply moving portrait of a city that became gradually squeezed to its limits”

Juliet Nicolson, Sunday Telegraph

“Jerry White is masterful at mixing hard facts and statistics with telling anecdotes”

Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday

“A superbly detailed account… Professor White has written a fine social history that portrays London as a teeming nerve centre of the Allied war effort”

Ian Thomson, Financial Times

“If you only read one [book about the First World War], choose Zeppelin Nights, which is packed with new information and avoids the clichés that are wearying us all”

Eleanor Updale, Tablet

“A fascinating study”

Christopher Hart, Sunday Times

“An extraordinary tale… [White] tells it with gusto, nuance and panache”

Saul David, Evening Standard

“Intriguing and often surprising”

Sunday Times

“[A] timely book… Fascinating”

Times Higher Education

“White is London’s foremost historian”

Church Times

“In a hectic history, teeming with life at all levels, from West End to East End, from music hall to munitions factories, from society balls to sweatshops, the voices of wounded soldiers, dazed refugees, liberated women and sharp-witted Londoners sing and weep throughout this constantly surprising story”

Iain Finlayson, Saga

“A convincing and exhaustive account of what Londoners experienced from 1914 to 1918”

John Hinton, Catholic Herald

“A rich social history… White is as adept with individual characters as he is with the statistics of munitions production”

New Statesman

“Few people have a better grasp of the history of London than Professor Jerry White”

Sally White, Daily Mail

“Fresh, interesting… Vivid and often moving”

Ekin Karasin, UK Press Syndication

“White writes with the fluency of a novelist, and this book can be hugely recommended”

Mark Le Fanu, Spears Wealth Management Survey

“A first-rate social history”

Ian Thomson, Guardian

“As ever with Jerry White, the broader themes are peppered with wonderful, throwaway trivia, while the main thrust is both meticulously researched and highly readable”

Londonist

“White’s book is a true piece of art”

Susannah Perkins, Nudge


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