For many, it’s just a statistic: In 1921 England there were one and three-quarter million more women than men. For Virginia Nicholson, Vanessa Bell’s granddaughter, that statistic is the start of a compelling story.
In Singled Out: How Two Million Women Survived Without Men After the First World War, Nicholson traces the fate of a generation of women left to blaze a new path for themselves after the slaughter of World War I. Known as ‘the Surplus Women’, the women of this generation met fates different from their Victorian forebears. Some accomplished great things as they took up traditionally male pursuits. Others felt trapped, lonely, and desperate.
In Singled Out, Nicholson draws on her extensive knowledge of the period, skillfully weaving the life stories of a sampling of women into a compelling tale of the interwar years for English women. Read more about the book, which will be out in the UK later this month.
Nicholson is also the author of Among the Bohemians and is the co-author of Charleston: A Bloomsbury House and Gardens. Speaking of Charleston Farmhouse in Sussex, she will be there to talk about her new book on Sept. 13 at 7 p.m. Tickets are £14 and include Nicholson’s talk and a glass of wine.
Wish I could join her. But I do plan to read Singled Out as soon as I can get my hands on a copy.