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If you are interested in the history behind The Whalebone Theatre, listed below are some of the books that inspired it. You can also read more about a selection of them in this piece by Joanna on 

Peacetime England: 

The Great Silence: 1918-1920 Living in the Shadow of the Great War by Juliet Nicolson

Among the Bohemians: Experiments in Living 1900-1939 by Virginia Nicholson

We Danced All Night: Britain Between the Wars by Martin Pugh

The Edwardians by Vita Sackville-West

Augustus John: The New Biography by Michael Holroyd

Wartime England:

London At War 1939- 1945 by Philip Ziegler

Forgotten Voices of the Secret War by Roderick Bailey

A Life in Secrets: Vera Atkins and the Lost Agents of SOE by Sarah Helm

Between Silk and Cyanide: A Code Maker's War by Leo Marks

Beaulieu the Finishing School for Secret Agents by Cyril Cunningham

A House in the Country by Jocelyn Playfair

Land Girls: Women's Voices from the Wartime Farm by Joan Mant

Forgotten: The Untold Story of D-Day's Black Heroes, at Home and at War by Linda Hervieux 

Love, Sex and War: Changing Values 1939-45 by John Costello


The 1944 production of Anouilh's Antigone in Occupied Paris

Wartime France: 

When Paris Went Dark by Ronald C Rosbottom

Les Parisiennes by Anne Sebba

And the Show Went On: Cultural Life in Nazi-occupied Paris by Alan Riding

Moondrop to Gascony by Anne-Marie Walters

Mission Improbable by Beryl Escott

Code Name Pauline by Pearl Witherington and Kathryn Atwood

Maman, What Are We Called Now? by Jacqueline Mesnil-Amar

Eleven Days in August: The Liberation of Paris in 1944 by Matthew Cobb

Antigone by Jean Anouilh (1946 translation by  Lewis Galantière and 2009 translation by Barbara Bray) 

GA Henty stories at Bridport Old Books, Dorset

Country Houses:

Not in Front of the Servants: A True Portrait of Upstairs, Downstairs Life by Frank Victor Dawes

A Kingston Lacy Childhood by Viola Banks

The Gentry: Stories of the English by Adam Nicolson

​The Housekeeper's Tale: The Women Who Really Ran the English Country House by Tessa Boase

Our Uninvited Guests: The Secret Life of Britain's Country Houses 1939-45 by Julie Summers


Dorset at War by Rodney Legg

Dorchester Versus Hitler by Colin Churchill

A Flirt's Eye View of Weymouth's War by Dawn Gould

Tyneham: A Lost Heritage by Lilian Bond

The Village that Died for England: The Strange Story of Tyneham by Patrick Wright

Childhood Reading: 

Moonfleet by J Meade Falkner 

The Tempest by William Shakespeare, illustrated by Arthur Rackham 

Adventure stories by GA Henty, much beloved by Jasper and Cristabel, can be read on Project Gutenberg.

The Iliad that the Seagrave children read is the Alexander Pope version from 1899, which is also available on Project Gutenberg. 'Achilles’ wrath, to Greece the direful spring/ Of woes unnumber’d, heavenly goddess, sing!' 

Arthur Rackham illustration for 1926 edition of The Tempest

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