10 books like Between the Lines

By Audrey Fawcett Cahill,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Between the Lines. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Testament of Youth

By Vera Brittain,

Book cover of Testament of Youth

I first began reading this just as background research, in an attempt to get the character ‘voice’ right for my own WW1 series, but, as with many other books I was pulled in against my expectations. Vera’s decision to become a VAD nurse, and her determination to do the best possible job under unthinkable circumstances, made me want to learn everything about this era and the people who lived it. It threw a cold light onto what had, until then, been a sort of fuzzy half-knowledge, and it’s an example of the best in humanity, wrapped in what could easily be an extravagant fiction; knowing it was an autobiographical account made it so much poignant. It shows how powerful the drive to help others can be, despite the hardships endured. 

Testament of Youth

By Vera Brittain,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Testament of Youth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An autobiographical account of a young nurse's involvement in World War I.


Women as Army Surgeons

By Flora Murray,

Book cover of Women as Army Surgeons: Being The History Of The Women's Hospital Corps 1914-1919

Murray’s book was the inspiration, guide and companion for my own. Flora Murray and her life-long partner Louisa Garrett Anderson were both doctors and suffragettes. Murray was honorary doctor to the suffragette movement and Anderson went to prison for four weeks for smashing a window. As women doctors they were confined to treating only women and children. They seized the war as a chance not only to do their bit but to prove women doctors were equal to their male counterparts. They ran two hospitals in France before setting up Endell Street in 1915. Murray wrote her book, first published in 1920, as testament to the achievements of all the women involved. Her account is bracing – in the manner of the wartime “Blighty spirit” – but packed with fascinating detail and heroic acts.

Women as Army Surgeons

By Flora Murray,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Women as Army Surgeons as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Flora Murray's book is a record of the Women's Hospital Corps in France and the Endell Street Military Hospital, London. Despite a lack of training in trauma and orthopaedics, and with no previous experience in military medicine, she met the challenge of treating often horrific wartime casualties and returning battle-injured men to society. She, along with her partner Dr Louisa Garrett Anderson, redefined gender roles in military medicine.


Elsie and Mairi Go to War

By Diane Atkinson,

Book cover of Elsie and Mairi Go to War

Atkinson’s book tells the story of Elsie Knocker and Mairi Chisholm who were friends and motorcycle enthusiasts. When war broke out they joined a voluntary medical unit heading for France and set up a first aid post near the frontline. They were fearless, sometimes reckless, and always cheerful as they saved the wounded. I loved the way Atkinson’s book captured their youthful exuberance and gung-ho courage.

Elsie and Mairi Go to War

By Diane Atkinson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Elsie and Mairi Go to War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When they met at a motorcycle club in 1912, Elsie Knocker was a thirty year-old motorcycling divorcee dressed in bottle-green Dunhill leathers, and Mairi Chisholm was a brilliant eighteen-year old mechanic, living at home and borrowing tools from her brother. Little did they know, theirs was to become one of the most extraordinary stories of the First World War.

In 1914, they roared off to London 'to do their bit', and within a month they were in the thick of things in Belgium driving ambulances to distant military hospitals. Frustrated by the number of men dying of shock in the…


Female Tommies

By Elisabeth Shipton,

Book cover of Female Tommies: The Frontline Women of the First World War

Shipton’s book is a brilliantly researched account of the thousands of incredible women who refused to sit at home knitting socks when war began. Using diaries, letters and memoirs, she tells the story of the women who put on uniforms of various hues to drive ambulances, carry stretchers, nurse the wounded and even to bear arms close to the frontlines of World War One. They included the wonderful Flora Sandes who went to Serbia to nurse casualties and ended up joining the Serbian Army. It’s a testimony to women’s bravery, daring and refusal to take no for an answer.

Female Tommies

By Elisabeth Shipton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Female Tommies as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The First World War saw one of the biggest ever changes in the demographics of warfare, as thousands of women donned uniforms and took an active part in conflict for the first time in history. Female Tommies looks at the military role of women worldwide during the Great War and reveals the extraordinary women who served on the frontline.

Through their diaries, letters and memoirs, meet the women who defied convention and followed their convictions to defend the less fortunate and fight for their country. Follow British Flora Sandes as she joins the Serbian Army and takes up a place…


Russia's Sisters of Mercy and the Great War

By Laurie S. Stoff,

Book cover of Russia's Sisters of Mercy and the Great War: More Than Binding Men's Wounds

Stoff’s work on women’s history during the war has been consistently excellent, starting with her book on women soldiers and continuing with this book. One of the most significant developments of the war was the need to dramatically expand medical care, especially for sick and wounded soldiers. Women rushed in to fill this need, with significant consequences not only for the health of the army but also the nature of gender and sexual relations throughout the whole country.

Russia's Sisters of Mercy and the Great War

By Laurie S. Stoff,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Russia's Sisters of Mercy and the Great War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

They are war stories, filled with danger and deprivation, excitement and opportunity, sorrow and trauma, scandal and controversy-and because they are the war stories of nurses, they remain largely untold. Laurie Stoff's pioneering work brings the wartime experiences of Russia's "Sisters of Mercy" out of the shadows to show how these nurses of the Great War, far from merely binding wounds, provided vital services that put them squarely in traditionally "masculine" territory, both literally and figuratively.

While Russian nursing shared many features of women's medical service in other nations, it was in some ways profoundly different. Like soldiers and doctors,…


The Diaries of Sofia Tolstoy

By Cathy Porter,

Book cover of The Diaries of Sofia Tolstoy

After worshiping Leo Tolstoy and his writing for long decades, the much later discovery of Sophia’s diaries came to me as a huge revelation: I learnt that no writer or artist is an island, but always part of a human ecosystem that nurtures and feeds their art. In the case of Tolstoy, it was his family and most particularly his wife. In her personal writings we meet the woman behind the great writer, married to him for 48 years, and who bore him 13 children. She was pivotal to his work, encouraging and supporting his literary career. Through her pages, we find out about her love for Tolstoy and their tormented marriage, in which she often felt neglected and provoked. We see the hidden, dark side of the great man of letters, a vastly gifted but troubled individual, and we also learn about Sophia’s undying vital energy that allowed her…

The Diaries of Sofia Tolstoy

By Cathy Porter,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Diaries of Sofia Tolstoy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When Sofia Behrs married Count Leo Tolstoy, the author of "War and Peace", husband and wife regularly exchanged diaries covering the years from 1862 to 1910. Sofia's life was not an easy one: she idealized her husband, but was tormented by him; even her many children were not an unmitigated blessing. In the background of her life was one of the most turbulent periods of Russian history: the transition from old feudal Russia to the three revolutions and three major international wars. Yet it is as Sofia Tolstoy's own life story, the study of one woman's private experience, that the…


The History of the American Expedition Fighting the Bolsheviki Campaigning in North Russia 1918-1919

By Joel R. Moore, Harry H. Mead, Lewis E. Jahns

Book cover of The History of the American Expedition Fighting the Bolsheviki Campaigning in North Russia 1918-1919

The best account of the futile Allied attempts to keep Russia in the war.   Largely ignored, mainly because it was politically embarrassing and.  Still worse, through no fauly of the army, it was militarily unsucessful.  But the intervention left lasting scars, and consequences were fatal for the remainder of the century. 

The History of the American Expedition Fighting the Bolsheviki Campaigning in North Russia 1918-1919

By Joel R. Moore, Harry H. Mead, Lewis E. Jahns

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The History of the American Expedition Fighting the Bolsheviki Campaigning in North Russia 1918-1919 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the aftermath of the First World War, the United States sent 13,000 troops into the Soviet Union in support of the Tsarist White Russian Army, in an attempt to crush the Bolshevik government that had assumed power in the Russian Revolution. Written by three American doughboys who fought in Russia, this is a firsthand account of the only time in history that American troops directly fought Red Army troops.


The Fortress

By Alexander Watson,

Book cover of The Fortress: The Siege of Przemysl and the Making of Europe's Bloodlands

This book not only tells the fascinating story of the great siege in 1914-15 of the supposedly impregnable fortress of Przemyśl. It is a highly readable and often darkly humorous account, based on an extraordinary array of sources in several languages, paints a vivid picture of the political and military shambles into which the Austro-Hungarian Empire had fallen. With chilling precision, it also identifies the presence of many of the germs which would flourish into the horrors which visited the same area in the following decades.

The Fortress

By Alexander Watson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Fortress as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


A prizewinning historian tells the dramatic story of the siege that changed the course of the First World War

In September 1914, just a month into World War I, the Russian army laid siege to the fortress city of Przemysl, the Hapsburg Empire's most important bulwark against invasion. For six months, against storm and starvation, the ragtag garrison bitterly resisted, denying the Russians a quick victory. Only in March 1915 did the city fall, bringing occupation, persecution, and brutal ethnic cleansing.

In The Fortress, historian Alexander Watson tells the story of the battle for Przemysl, showing how it marked the…


The War That Ended Peace

By Margaret MacMillan,

Book cover of The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914

If we are not killer apes, if war is not inevitable, how does it happen? Obviously because people were not up to the challenges of maintaining peace. Margaret MacMillan’s riveting account of the events leading up to the Great War, the First World War, shows in all-too-clear detail how not to go about avoiding war. The German Kaiser, Wilhelm, was petty and boastful and altogether too proud and confident of his totally inadequate abilities. The Tsar of Russia, Nicholas, was cut from the same cloth. But whereas Wilhelm made up his mind quickly and then was unmovable, Nicholas could never make up his mind. Between them, helped by other inadequates in places of high status and power, millions of young men lay dead on the fields of Flanders, in Northern France.

The War That Ended Peace

By Margaret MacMillan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The War That Ended Peace as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

WINNER of the International Affairs Book of the Year at the Political Book Awards 2014Longlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize 2013
The First World War followed a period of sustained peace in Europe during which people talked with confidence of prosperity, progress and hope. But in 1914, Europe walked into a catastrophic conflict which killed millions of its men, bled its economies dry, shook empires and societies to pieces, and fatally undermined Europe's dominance of the world. It was a war which could have been avoided up to the last moment-so why did it happen?
Beginning in the early nineteenth…


The Russian Origins of the First World War

By Sean McMeekin,

Book cover of The Russian Origins of the First World War

Conventional histories blame Germany for starting the First World War by “turning a Balkan Quarrel into a European war.” McMeekin shows both Germany and Austria-Hungary wanted a quick, isolated Austrian-Serbian war. It was Russia that wanted a general European war in order to seize Constantinople and the Bosporus Straits and give Russia access to the Mediterranean. Therefore, the Russians wanted France and Great Britain to tie down Germany, while Russia crushed the Austrians and seized the Balkans and the Bosphorous. And the Russians knew about the Serb plot to assassinate Archduke Franz Ferdinand in advance. McMeeken’s archival research in proving his case is impressive.

The Russian Origins of the First World War

By Sean McMeekin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Russian Origins of the First World War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The catastrophe of the First World War, and the destruction, revolution, and enduring hostilities it wrought, make the issue of its origins a perennial puzzle. Since World War II, Germany has been viewed as the primary culprit. Now, in a major reinterpretation of the conflict, Sean McMeekin rejects the standard notions of the war's beginning as either a Germano-Austrian preemptive strike or a "tragedy of miscalculation." Instead, he proposes that the key to the outbreak of violence lies in St. Petersburg.

It was Russian statesmen who unleashed the war through conscious policy decisions based on imperial ambitions in the Near…


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