Fiction during the second world war

Lara Feigel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter focuses on home front literature and concentrates particularly on literature portraying the wartime experience in London. The majority of war literature was produced by authors who had remained in London. These tended to be non-combatants, but played an often major role in the ARP (Air Raid Protection) services, defending their city. Henry Green, William Sansom, and Stephen Spender worked as firemen; Elizabeth Bowen and Graham Greene as ARP wardens; and Rose Macaulay as an ambulance driver. This was a community of writers who were facing danger and defending their city, rather like the soldier poets in the trenches in the First World War. These authors had direct experience of the various periods of bombing, as well as of the peculiar hiatus when the war carried on elsewhere.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford History of the Novel in English
Subtitle of host publicationVolume 7: British and Irish Fiction Since 1940
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9780198749394
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Air raid protection
  • ARP
  • Civilian war experience
  • London
  • War literature
  • World war II


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