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Henrietta's War

Henrietta s War When village life in deepest rural Devon is touched by the upheavals of World War II Henrietta and her colourful cast of friends and neighbours including the stoic and buxom Lady B the irrepressibl

When village life in deepest, rural Devon is touched by the upheavals of World War II, Henrietta and her colourful cast of friends and neighbours including the stoic and buxom Lady B, the irrepressibly flirtatious Faith and Henrietta s long suffering GP husband Charles are determined to fight the good fight with patriotic fervour and good humour Henrietta chronicles tWhen village life in deepest, rural Devon is touched by the upheavals of World War II, Henrietta and her colourful cast of friends and neighbours including the stoic and buxom Lady B, the irrepressibly flirtatious Faith and Henrietta s long suffering GP husband Charles are determined to fight the good fight with patriotic fervour and good humour Henrietta chronicles the village s wildly entertaining activities, from feuds over cooks and rivalry over bomb stories , to choir romances and deep rooted friendships, in a correspondence to her dear childhood friend Robert.

  • ✓ Henrietta's War Ý Joyce Dennys
    162 Joyce Dennys

About Author

  1. Joyce Dennys says:
    JOYCE DENNYS was born 14th August 1883 in India The Dennys family relocated to England in 1886 Dennys enjoyed drawing lessons throughout her schooling and later enrolled at Exeter Art School In 1919 Dennys married Tom Evans, a young doctor, and they moved to Australia While living in New South Wales, Dennys s work was constantly in print and exhibited in many galleries In 1922 Joyce became a mother and moved back to England Her drawing took second place to the domestic and social duties of a doctor s wife and mother and she became increasingly frustrated She voiced her frustrations through the character of Henrietta, a heroine she created for an article for Sketch Henrietta was to become so important to Dennys that she once remarked, When I stopped doing the piece after the war, I felt quite lost Henrietta was part of me I never quite knew where I ended and she began These letters were later compiled to form Henrietta s War, first published by Andre Deutsch in 1985.

Comment 263 on “Henrietta's War

  1. Karin says:
    This is a compilation of a set of fictional letters based one the real WW II experiences in Joyce s town While she and her family are given different names, everyone else in the book is fictional as is the childhood friend they are addressed to They were printed in a London newspaper throughout the war.The humour is lovely, the characters endearing and the writing good Naturally, WW II was a serious time, but there is almost always a time and place for humour to help people cope, and I think thi [...]

  2. Jenny Brown says:
    Delightful classic English village humor Think Angela Thirkell without the nastiness, snobbery, and tendency to run on Agatha Cristie without the body in the library If you need something to help you cope with the sheer awfulness of life today and the pervasive corrosive cynicism this will do nicely.

  3. Teresa says:
    Enjoyed this immensely A lighthearted look at a series subject Set in WWII in a small English village, it s a look at the attitude of the people by the local doctor s wife Though the names are different, this is written at the actual time of the war so we have first hand accounts throughout It is in the form of letters to an old friend at the front and she is filling him in on all the doings of the village If you enjoy home front stories of the war and some great character depictions, you ll lov [...]

  4. Susan says:
    This book consists of fictional letters from the pen of Henrietta Brown, a housewife and mother, married to local doctor Charles, written to her childhood friend Robert However, much of the life of Henrietta mirrored that of Joyce Dennys born in India, she attended Art School in Exeter in the book, her lodger was also a fellow art student and she was also the wife of a doctor, a mother and a writer and artist During the way, the character of Henrietta became a propaganda tool a comfort to those [...]

  5. Jan C says:
    For most of this book my rating was a or rating But as I read the last couple of entries I just began to see so much of her humor Not sure that I had realized that she had also done the illustrations And I think it began to remind me of the Lucia and Mapp stories that I had stumbled upon at the local public library, long before it was on PBS.The biographical note at the conclusion advises that Dennys had put aside her artwork when she married a doctor much like Henrietta and became a mother Af [...]

  6. Emily says:
    WWII from the perspective of the home front in a small village in Devon I was taken aback and disconcerted at how light hearted and cheerful it is, frothy, even But then one recollects that as a collection of newspaper sketches, many if not most of its original readers had plenty of of grim reality close at hand and probably cherished its wittiness greatly It s enlivened by sketches by the author which add some period charm.


  7. Anuja (abookishrendezvous) says:
    Henrietta s War was a delightful read Laced with British Humour, the book also managed to dole out pearls of wisdom, albeit in a subtle way.The day to day struggles of individuals living in a village in Devonshire are chronicled in a balanced manner The reader can glimpse the privations the British Public had to undergo during the Second World War.But strength and individual good will fuel not only the patriotic fervour but also act like moonbeams on the water to help the sailor navigate his way [...]

  8. Elisha Condie says:
    This is the first book of the two about Henrietta s experience in the war Her narrative voice is so funny and wry and the little cartoon drawings that are scattered throughout the book are perfect.I love their village in Devonshire where they are trying hard to be helpful to the war effort Like, in order to train for the A.R.P villagers pitch in and one night as Charles is walking home he nearly runs over a figure lying at the side of the road Hullo, what s the matter with you and a cheerful voi [...]

  9. Melinda Elizabeth says:
    Henrietta s War is a charming collation of stories that ran in newspapers worldwide during WWII Joyce Dennys was a frustrated homemaker who let her imagination run wild with her character Henrietta, and the vignettes compiled in this book are sharp and witty The illustrations that compliment the stories are charming, and I loved seeing the age in terms of fashion and props in the images shown The country townsfolk that Henrietta mentions in her letters to her dear childhood friend Robert are so [...]

  10. Austen to Zafón says:
    I have been reading a lot of domestic fiction from Britain of the 1930 s and 40 s, mostly diary style and short stories I must say that this book, which takes the form of letters from a housewife and mother in Devon to her Childhood s Friend Robert who is at the front, is gentler and wistful than other books I ve read in this particular genre E M Delafield s funny Provincial Lady books, which I read snd enjoyed just before this book have a similar venue small town, trying to make do on a budget [...]

  11. Terence Manleigh says:
    This delightful volume is compiled of an ongoing series Joyce Dennys wrote for Sketch during the early years of the Second World War In the form of letters to a beloved childhood friend on the front, our heroine Henrietta keeps his spirits up with the very amusing doings of her Devon village on the Home Front as they prepare for invasion, bombings, making due on rations and making sure one s garden is the envy of one s neighbours A quick enjoyable read and, in its subtle way, a inspiration about [...]


  12. Lady Drinkwell says:
    I know this is written far too often on tee towels and mugs but keep calm and carry on sums this book up lots of lovely characters, and a choir which I enjoyed.


  13. GeraniumCat says:
    Inevitably I found myself comparing this to The Diary of a Provincial Lady which, of course, I love But I also loved Henrietta s War News from the Home Front 1939 1942, which is gentler and kinder in some ways I assume that the setting is Budleigh Salterton, since the town seems to own several of Joyce Dennys s paintings of local scenes they are full of the sort of characters who populate her book, which is rather joyous I love the story, early on, that the local fisherman are telling the summer [...]

  14. Nicola Mansfield says:
    Reason for Reading I am reading all The Bloomsbury Group books.Joyce Dennys who at the time was known for her illustrations and aid work during WWI found her time limited during WWII, being now taken up almost full time as a mother and doctor s wife so she turned to writing, publishing a fictional letter from Henrietta to a dear Childhood s Friend on the war front about daily life back on the home front The article proved so popular that Henrietta s letters became a regular feature in Sketch T [...]

  15. Nancy says:
    Joyce Dennys, an illustrator by trade, wrote this series of essays as a weekly column during WW II they purport to be letters written by Henrietta the local doctor s wife to her Childhood s Friend, Robert, at the Front Gentle, wry, and often laugh out loud funny, Henrietta s letters describe the daily struggles of ordinary Englishmen and women, Keeping the Home Fires Burning Of course, each letter is illustrated by one of Dennys s witty illustrations.This may be my favorite Bloomsbury to date ex [...]

  16. Bridget says:
    I ve had this book on my Nook for a while, but just got around to reading it, and I m so glad I did The book is a collection of letters from Henrietta, who lives in a village in England during WWII, to her dear childhood friend, who is serving at the front She is writing to let him know that he is in her thoughts, but also to keep his spirits up by telling him how her family and others in the village are doing The letters are, for the most part, short But they are chock full of information, and [...]

  17. Nigeyb says:
    The eponymous Henrietta is a middle class, middle aged housewife who lives in a small rural coastal town in Devon based on Budleigh Salterton that abounds with stereotypical World War 2 era English characters.The extent to which you might enjoy Henrietta s War News from the Home Front 1939 1942 will depend on your tolerance for reading about the details of Henrietta s early WW2 observations of small town life as related in one sided correspondence to her dear childhood friend Robert.It s a quick [...]

  18. Camille says:
    Henrietta s War is a sweet collection of letters written from perfectly average Henrietta Brown, to her childhood friend Robert, who is fighting on the front lines in France She describes in vivid detail, and with charming cartoonish illustrations, daily life in war torn rural Britain I was surprised to find that Henrietta and the other extraordinary characters she writes about are fictional, that this book is actually a compilation of stories written in letter form and published weekly in Sketc [...]

  19. Gabi Coatsworth says:
    Written during World War 2 by Joyce Dennys as a series of humorous columns in the Daily Sketch, the gentle humor and cheerful ambiance of this book make it a perfect read on a winter day Not as sharp as Angela Thirkell who covers much of the same ground, but sometimes you just want a book Nanny might have written.

  20. Bookworm says:
    I really wanted this to be good I do love my English reads But I didn t feel the atmosphere of this one was right, so I didn t finish it The flirtatious character Faith, was one reason, and the drama club meeting was another.



  21. Sue says:
    I loved this little book It is made up of letters from Henrietta, a doctor s wife in Devon, to her old childhood friend Robert, who is away fighting in WW2 The letters are designed to cheer up her friend, and are packed full of little incidents and observations about the village, the people and the way that the war has affected their lives.On one occasions she reminisces about a time before the war when they all gathered at her house during one lazy summer How happy we were, and how little we re [...]

  22. Kate says:
    Dogs, garden tea parties, bumbling vicars, fierce tweedy ladies who longed for Hitler to land so they could give him what for, and retired colonels this was the Home Front While their army is engaged elsewhere, the inhabitants of a small town on the Devon coast are coping with the privations of war with a determination born of British backbone Here is Faith, the town beauty, pasting lingerie silk to her windows to guard against blast damage And Mrs Whinbite, bohemian and free thinker, gathering [...]

  23. Rebecca says:
    A lighthearted read and that is what it is meant to be It was first written as short magazine pieces during the war it portrays, so the readers knew all about the harsh realities This is looking at those realities and try to smile a bit too Just two things I don t know why the title ends in 1942, because Dennys wrote about Henrietta throughout the war And I really don t get why the title says 1939 1942, because the last piece is dated to the Christmas in 1941 it could be that it was published in [...]

  24. Amy says:
    My dearest friend Bryan sent me this book on my birthday and he has perfect taste because this was a total delight.


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