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War Among Ladies by Eleanor Scott | #Spotlight #Excerpt @BL_Publishing @Bookhistorybite @Irvine_TE #ARC #ClassicNovel

The book is part of the stunning British Library Women Writers series. Each book includes a contextual timeline and a comprehensive afterword, all wrapped up in beautiful embossed covers.

Our thanks to British Library Publishing for the advanced reader’s copy. 

Book Details

Publisher: British Library Publishing

Book Description

Miss Cullen finds herself in a dreadful predicament. Four years from retirement, she can no longer meet the educational standards expected nor control her pupils at Besley High School for girls. She knows that no other school will hire her now, but if she is sacked or doesn’t work until she’s 60, she will lose her pension. Her only hope is to hang on. But her poor exam results affect the standing of the whole school. Her colleagues embark on a campaign against her to save their own positions and she retaliates by involving the school inspector. Into this hostile environment comes Viola Kennedy, a young new teacher full of optimism and ideas, who instead gets caught up in the conspiracies and swirling resentments.

A quietly devastating novel about the realities of life for single working women in the 1920s and the systems that failed them.

From the Publisher’s Blurb

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The hub of the universe is not, as you might fancy, always in the same place. Some people believe it to be in Geneva; some would put it in No. 10, Downing Street; for others it is behind the door with “Private” on it, after you pass through the outer office; others believe it to be in, say, Paquin’s salons; some can persuade themselves that it is in a dusty suburb, in the kitchen or nursery of a house called “Fernlea” or “Balmoral”; some, still more unfortunate, place it in a Universuty or College, or even in one room of a college; a few innocents might plump for the House of Commons, others for the Stock Exchange, or even a racecourse.

The people of this story all believed it to be the same place. Even though they denied that it did, they all thought so, really. It lay, they thought, in the building known as the County Education Offices in the uninspiring Midland town of Stamborough; and it had a kind of deputy (if a hub can hav e a deputy, which seems doubtful) behind the white-painted door of Miss Barr’s study. As the faithful receive the words of the Bishop who is instructed by the Pope, so did the Staff of Besley High School receive those words of Miss Barr which had their origin from the August Unknown of Stamborough.

Chapter 1, pp. 5

From War Among Ladies © 1928, The Estate of Helen Magdalen Leys, published © 2022 by The British Library

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About the Author

Eleanor Scott (1892~1965) was born Helen Madeline Leys in Middlesex, the daughter of John Kirkwood Leys, barrister and novelist. Her early education was provided solely by her mother, Ellen, who prepared both of her daughters for going on to Oxford. After the Great War, Helen Leys became a teacher, later rising to the position of Principal of an Oxford teacher training college. Her first short story to appear in print was ‘The Room’, which appeared in The Cornhill Magazine in October 1923, credited to H. M. Leys. In 1928, the first work bearing the pen name Eleanor Scott appeared: the controversial novel War Among Ladies, which was published by Ernest Benn… Her final novel, Puss in the Corner… was published in November 1934.

From Goodreads


1 thought on “War Among Ladies by Eleanor Scott | #Spotlight #Excerpt @BL_Publishing @Bookhistorybite @Irvine_TE #ARC #ClassicNovel”

  1. When I was in London, I went to the British Library to buy some of these books. Sadly, the bigger book shop was closed, and there wasn’t a great selection in the gift shop. I did pick up one book, but on my next trip to London, I’m going to take an extra bag with me JUST for books!


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