War in Val D'Orcia


At the height of the Second World War, Italy was being torn apart by German armies, civil war and the eventual Allied invasion. In a corner of Tuscany, one woman - born in England, married to an Italian - kept a record of daily life in a country at war. Iris Origo's compellingly powerful diary, War in Val d'Orcia, is the spare and vivid account of what happened when a peaceful farming valley became a battleground.

At great personal risk, the Origos gave food and shelter to partisans, deserters and refugees. They took in evacuees and, as the front drew closer, they faced the knowledge that the lives of thirty-two small children depended on them.

Origo writes with sensitivity and generosity and a story emerges of human acts of heroism and compassion, and the devastation that war can bring.

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