The Imperial War Museum (IWM) celebrated its new fiction series in the historic War Rooms of Winston Churchill last night (Tuesday, June 25).
IWM’s Wartime Classics series will be released in September, in a “real departure” from non-fiction for IWM Publishing, to mark the outbreak of World War II.
Guests of last night’s event had the rare opportunity to walk behind the glass partitions of the bunker on a private tour of the Churchill War Rooms under the streets of Westminster.
The four launch titles of the IWM Archives were written during or just after World War II, and have wartime decor. Alan Jeffreys, senior curator for WWII at the Imperial War Museums, found all four novels in the IWM library. He wrote an introduction to each book setting out the context and the larger historical context.
From the city, from the plow by Alexander Baron, alongside Eight hours of England by famous Shakespearean actor, director and movie star Anthony Quayle are both based on the authors’ direct experiences.
Described by Antony Beevor as “arguably one of the greatest British WWII novels”, Baron’s debut novel offers a “living and moving” account of the preparations for D-Day and the advance into Normandy on the basis of his D-Day experience during this time Eight hours of England is a candid account of operations in occupied Europe, based on Quayle’s experience as Special Operations Officer behind enemy lines in Albania.
Trial by battle by David Piper, based on the time of the director of the National Portrait Gallery in the Indian Army in Malaysia where he was captured by the Japanese and spent three years as a prisoner of war, and a mysterious murder Lots under the counter by playwright, author and artist Kathleen Hewitt, set against a backdrop of London during The Blitz, make up the series which will be released on Thursday 26 September 2019 in paperback format, priced at £ 8.99.
Madeleine James, Head of Publishing and Brand Licensing of IWM, said The bookstore: “We are extremely excited to launch the new Wartime Classics series later this year to mark the 80th anniversary of WWII. Fiction is a real departure for IWM Publishing – these forgotten gems from our archives are all beautifully written, by authors who lived the war firsthand. All four launch titles are evocative and deeply moving. We hope they will attract new readers to IWM and give these books the wider audience they deserve so much.
Winston Churchill’s War Rooms