In Perfect Wives in Ideal Homes, Virginia Nicholson tells the story of women in the 1950s: a time before the Pill, when divorce spelled scandal and two-piece swimsuits caused mass alarm. Turn the page back to the mid-twentieth century, and discover a world peopled by women with radiant smiles, clean pinafores and gleaming coiffures; a promised land of batch-baking, maraschino cherries and brightly hued plastic. A world where the darker side of the decade encompasses rampant prostitution, a notorious murder, and the threat of nuclear disaster. Perfect Wives in Ideal Homes reconstructs the real 1950s, through the eyes of the women who lived it. Step back in time to where our grandmothers scrubbed their doorsteps, cared for their families, lived, laughed, loved and struggled. This is their story. Praise for Millions Like Us: "[A] rich, entwined narrative, moves in and out of the lives of an absorbing cast of characters...Vividly entertaining, uplifting and humbling". (Bel Mooney, Daily Mail). "Nicholson's vivid narrative is set firmly in the context of the time, which can seem so alien today as to be from another planet...Poignant, hilarious and inspiring". (Edwina Currie, The Times).
"[A] brilliantly readable, often haunting history of the war...Sharply written and intensely moving". (Sinclair Mckay, Daily Telegraph). Praise for Singled Out: "It is high time to dig [this generation] up again, salute their memory and listen to their sad and uncomplaining voices unmuffled at last in Nicholson's brave, humane and honest book". (Hilary Spurling, Observer). "Pioneering, powerful, inspiring". (John Carey, Sunday Times). Virginia Nicholson was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and grew up in Yorkshire and Sussex. She studied at Cambridge University and lived abroad in France and Italy, then worked as a documentary researcher for BBC Television. Her books include the acclaimed social histories Among the Bohemians: Experiments in Living 1900-1939, Singled Out: How Two Million Women Survived Without Men after the First World War, and Millions Like Us: Women's Lives During the Second World War, all published by Penguin. She is married to a writer, has three children and lives in Sussex.