MISS YOU: The World War II Letters of Barbara Wooddall Taylor & Charles E. Taylor by Barbara Wooddall & Charles E. Taylor Taylor

MISS YOU: The World War II Letters of Barbara Wooddall Taylor & Charles E. Taylor

Email this review


Life on WW II's home front and war front as revealed by a young couple's exchange of letters during their courtship and marriage. Historians Litoff (Bryant College) and Smith (Univ. of Maine)--who place the correspondence within its broader historical and societal context--rightly compare the letters to the unreeling of a 1940's movie. The young volunteer infantryman and pretty 18-year-old blonde from a small Georgia town fall in love on a blind date in August 1941; reaffirm their passion in almost daily letters; secretly marry the following April and publicly tie the knot four months later. As a war bride, Barbara follows Charles from one military post to another for two years until he--by then a second lieutenant--sails for the French front. He suffers multiple shrapnel wounds in his early days of combat: ""a little scratch,"" he writes Barbara. Stoically, he shields her from the perils of war, including his division's high casualty rate. His letters are filled with love, longing, pledges of fidelity, and patriotic sentiments. Hers are too, and also include morale-boosting minutiae of baby Sandra Lee's development and of Barbara's attempts to keep the toddler aware of ""daddy,"" and chatty stuff about shared memories, mutual friends, war-bond and blood drives, blackouts, rationing, and so on. Unique grist for social historians--who, until now, lacked substantial two-way WW II correspondence--and a treat for nostalgia buffs.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1990
Publisher: Univ. of Georgia Press