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Ted

Oh my god - what an image! There is something about those silhouettes that does seem utterly calm. I suppose, if you've just survived the blitz...
It reminds me of Virginia Woolf's diary entries about the bombing of London, and Leonard visiting their house and the damage to their press.

tara

Amazing photograph. Thank you for sharing.

SamHouston

That's an inspirational photo, for sure. I'd like to think that I would have had the nerve to be browsing the library shelves under those conditions, but I doubt it.

Danielle

Ted--I really need to start reading VW's diaries! And they are dressed so elegantly--it's sort of a surreal image!
Tara--I always have to buy cards or postcards that have anything to do with reading or books--this one is quite amazing I thought!
SamH--I can't imagine looking that calm either. I have heard that Londoners are known for their fortitude. Even in the worst conditions (like the 2005 bombings) they just pick up and carry on. I suppose when a city has been around for a few millennia, and the inhabitants have gone through what they have gone through, well, you must just do what you have to.

Matt

They have an aura of indifference and concentration, completely oblivious to the adverse surrounding. Book is one of the very few things that can render such an incredible power on human.

Isabel

On my recent vacation, I found out that not only was London bombed, but also Manchester and Glasgow. In school, we were taught that it was in the London area.

The Brits have sange froid.

When I was in Manchester, my friend Andy, told me that an unexploded bomb from WWII was found only a few blocks from his flat. The street was blocked off when I was there.

I started to freak: Did they find the entire bomb? How do we know it won't go off? Etc etc.

The next day, his parents came over, and he told them about the bomb. They said, "Interesting."

BooksPlease

My Mum used to live about 6 miles south of Manchester during the war. She told me they used to sit under the kitchen table when the bombs were dropping on Manchester!

nutmeg

This is a very interesting photo. I was recently looking at images from the Blitz, my interet being aroused while I was reading Judith Kerr's continuing memoir/novel " Bombs Over Aunt Dainty". I find this period in London very compelling. I must also look into VW's diaries.

As to The Great Stink, I loved this book for its atmosphere and great desriptions of time and place. Clark's characters, in the main, were also very well drawn. The ending was just a little (just a little!) flat but I would still very much recommend it!

Litlove

I love this photo - it's also in Alberto Manguel's A History of Reading. It just goes to show that books exert a calming influence no matter what the conditions!

Nancy Dwinell

What an amazing photo. It really captures the British mentality during the Blitz. They seemed to collectivlely decide to carry on as near normal as possible. It was a quiet way of fighting back. will have to look for this postcard. Nancy in NY

Dorothy W.

I remember seeing this photo in the Manguel book Litlove mentions -- very powerful, isn't it?

iliana

Wow, what a photo! I like what Litlove said about books being a calming influence.

jmfausti

Very cool photo! It makes you really wonder how strange life was for these people. I can't imagine being in that library and just stepping over rubble to scan the shelves for books. It's no wonder the Brits did so well during that campaign.

Carl V.

That is a wonderful postcard! I love the stoic nature of the guys in the store, as if nothing bothers them and nothing will stop them from perusing the shelves for a good read. That's great!

cipriano

Amazing photo.
It is on the cover of my hardcover dustjacket of Joseph Ziegler's [1995] book called "London At War" [Knopff].
An age and a time that utterly fascinates me.
For a great fictional look at it, I suggest Sarah Waters's The Night Watch. A great novel.
-- Cip

Andi

What a stunning photo! Thanks for passing it along.

julie

Could you please let me know where you purchased this post card from as I have been searching for this picture for my son for almost a year. Thank you for sharing it with everyone.

julie

Could you please let me know where you purchased this post card from as I have been searching for this picture for my son for almost a year. Thank you for sharing it with everyone.

julie

Could you please let me know where you purchased this post card from as I have been searching for this picture for my son for almost a year. Thank you for sharing it with everyone.

Shane

They don't cast an eye to what they've lost. They're interested in what they have and what they can learn in the future.

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