RSL Events

Mar 2013
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Writing the Blitz

Lara Feigel in conversation with Juliet Gardiner

Peter Parker

Somerset House, 7pm



For eight months from 7 September 1940, Britain came under daily attack from the Luftwaffe, enduring widespread destruction of its cities and thousands of civilian deaths. Like the trenches of the First World War, the Blitz has entered the national consciousness and provided the backdrop to a distinctive literature. This was Total War, and many writers on the home front found themselves caught up in it: Stephen Spender, Henry Green and William Sansom as firemen; Elizabeth Bowen and Graham Greene as air-raid wardens; Rose Macaulay as an ambulance-driver. Others, such as Virginia Woolf, looked on, recording events in their letters and diaries. Lara Feigel, author of The Love-charm of Bombs, published in January, and the acclaimed historian Juliet Gardiner, author of The Blitz: The British Under Attack (2010), discuss the work of these and other writers and explore the feverish carpe diem atmosphere of London under fire, in which, as Bowen put it, writers found themselves ‘afloat on the tideless, hypnotic, futureless to-day’, and produced some of the finest writing of the mid-20th century.


We are grateful to King’s College, London, for supporting this event.

Booking Information

Seats for guests (one per meeting, £5) must be booked and paid for in advance. This can be done through the RSL website as part of the usual booking process.

The RSL takes bookings from the public in advance of each event. We are able to take payment for bookings over the phone, but, as we do not have a box office, we ask that the public book online.

Tickets will be sold on a first come, first served basis, for £8 (£5 for students).

Read our Terms and Conditions for ticket purchases here.


Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House.

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