The War-Workers

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Author: E.M. Delafield (Edmée Elizabeth Monica Dashwood)
Published: 1917
Language: English
Wordcount: 76,196 / 221 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 84.4
LoC Category: PR
Downloads: 857
Added to site: 2010.04.06 27260

An amusing satire on a certain well-known type of woman war worker, this novel will afford satisfaction to all who have suffered inconvenience from the inaccessibility of the would-be-great, or from the silly pretensions of imposing red tape of whatever variety.

Show Excerpt

Shall I risk it, and go instead of her, leave or no leave?"

"I should think so, yes. What have things been like to-day?"

"Oh, fairly serene. I didn't see Miss Vivian this morning, myself, but nobody seems to have had their heads snapped off. There wasn't a fearful lot of work for her, either, because Miss Delmege came in quite early."

"Delmege makes me sick, the way she goes on! As though nobody else knew anything about Miss Vivian, and she was a sort of connecting-link between her and us. Didn't you hear her to-night? 'I think I can answer for Miss Vivian,'" mimicked Tony in an exaggerated falsetto. "I should jolly well like Miss Vivian to hear her one of these days. She'd appreciate being answered for like that by her secretary I don't think!"

"I say, Marshy, can you keep a secret?"


"Well, swear not to tell, and, mind, I'm speaking absolutely unofficially. I've no business to know it officially at all, because I only saw it on a telegram I sent for the Bil


Average Rating of 5 from 1 reviews: *****
Leah A. Zeldes

By the author of "Diary of a Provincial Lady," this lovely novel follows women doing volunteer war work in a mid-sized British town during World War I.

The well-to-do Miss Charmian Vivian, haughty director of the vast Midland Supply Depot, runs her increasing volunteer organization with ruthless efficiency, force of personality and very little quarter for human frailty. But is her insistence on formality and refusal to delegate authority because she's an indispensable martyr to patriotic duty or simply bullying means of securing the limelight? The largely lower-class women she bosses are sure she's wonderful until the arrival of independent Grace Jones, a well-bred clergyman's daughter from Wales.

The ending is a bit ambiguous, but Delafield's delightful characterizations make this a terrific read.

Unfortunately, this transcription was not well proofread.

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