Carolyn Wells was an early 20th century poet and author best known for mysteries likeThe Gold Bag and Fleming Stone Detective Stories
In the winter of 1948, a post-war darkness felled Britain and happiness, like sweets, was tightly rationed. So begins Harry Leslie Smith's bitter-sweet memoir: The Empress of Australia which depicts life in post-war Yorkshire. Recently demobbed from the RAF, Smith and his German war bride must try to adjust to a civilian society that is scarred from not only the war but the harsh reality of living in peacetime Britain. At first, Harry Leslie Smith finds himself ill equipped for this brave new world where Britain has lost its empire and is bankrupt. Yet, like so many other returning veterans from the Second World War, Smith stumbled onwards through the era known as the "Age of Austerity" to confront the horrors of his childhood and the innate injustice of a society divided by class. Harry Leslie Smith sketches a real, sometimes amusing and sometimes melancholic portrait of Britain in the late 1940s. In his book, Smith speaks for all generations who have faced untold hardships in their quest for dignity and purpose during times of financial, political and familial upheaval. The Empress of Australia is a personal history of one man's journey towards self discovery and freedom from row house Britain. Sometimes, after the war, peace is the hardest battle to survive.
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