"A compelling correspondence with the magnetism and immediacy of an engaging historical novel. That Virginia D. Reynolds was a cousin-once-removed of the poet Emily Dickinson (her great-grandfather Samuel Fowler Dickinson was Emily's grandfather), adds zest to the correspondence, for Mrs. Reynolds possesses the notable frankness that characterized certain members of the Dickinson family. Some of her opinions and attitudes are sure to shock a modern reader. For those enticed by World War II, or by the literature of mother/daughter relationships, here is an engaging perspective you won't want to miss."
—Polly Longsworth, coauthor of The Dickinsons of Amherst
"Shared Histories is rich with insights into American and British social and political life that will engage and inform both historians and general readers interested in the period. Textbooks and monographs rarely capture the experience of war on the home front in such an evocative and personal way as these letters do."
"[T]he collection presents a vivid and coherent picture of their authors, their locales, and their tumultuous world."
"Provides correspondence at its best . . . Shared Histories holds value far beyond the usual family portraits, making it a top pick."
"Their letters provide a rare example of correspondence between civilian family members on both sides of the Atlantic during the Second World War, as well as a record of a particular class at a time of great change (1929–1966). And they are entertaining . . . [an] excellently informative introduction . . . but such seeming contradictions are part of the pleasure of Shared Histories, which portrays another era so vividly, and raises questions along the way."
—Times Literary Supplement
"A vivid picture of two fascinating women who wrote candidly about their personal lives and the historical events swirling about them."
—Emily Dickinson International Society Bulletin
Both women were born in Richmond, Virginia, and raised in privileged circumstances. Virginia Dickinson Reynolds was the child of a Confederate Army officer and was also a distant cousin of poet Emily Dickinson. Virginia Potter traveled widely until she married an English Army officer and settled in his country. The women's intensely close bond shines through Shared Histories as, from time to time, do their class-conscious, Anglo-Saxon sensibilities. Sometimes poignant, sometimes bristling, always candid, these letters portray private worlds of tradition confronted with global change.
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