The Blitz: Background information when reading Life After Life

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Life After Life

By Kate Atkinson

Life After Life
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  • Hardcover: Apr 2013,
    544 pages.
    Paperback: Jan 2014,
    560 pages.

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Beyond the Book:
The Blitz

St. Paul's Cathedral surrounded by smoke in December 1940A significant and arresting section in the second half of Life After Life occurs during the period of the German bombings of London during World War II known as "The Blitz." This period between September 1940 and May 1941 was a time of fear, destruction and collective British determination. The nickname comes from the German word "Blitzkrieg" meaning "lightning war." The Blitz followed Germany's unsuccessful attempts, between July and September 1940, to weaken or eliminate the Royal Air Force's ability to defend Britain - a period known as the Battle of Britain. During the Blitz, bombing raids instead focused on civilian and industrial targets in London and other cities. It is estimated that over 40,000 civilians were killed, with many more injured, and over one million British homes destroyed.

Children in an eastern suburb of London made homeless by the BlitzHistories and summaries agree that the ability of the citizens of London and other targeted cities to maintain collective morale was key in the overall fate of the country in the war. This so...

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