The Bletchley Girls – Hodder & Stoughton 2015: this was my first ‘big’ book and writing it was one of the best experiences of my life. I got to know 15 women who all worked at the famous code-breaking park during the war and told the story of who they were, why they were selected and where they are now. Together we went on tour – Cheltenham and Hay-on-Wye book festivals were sell-outs – and many of the women remain firm friends.
Reviews inc: Daily Mail: ‘Dunlop is engaging in her personal approach. Her obvious feminine empathy with the venerable ladies she spoke to gives her book an immediacy and intimacy.’ New Statesman: ‘Lively… in giving us the daily details of their lives in the women’s own voices Dunlop does them and us a fine service.’
The Century Girls – Simon & Schuster 2018: A top-ten Sunday Times best-seller, this book was inspired by the Bletchley Girls’ stories and energy. I made friends with six women who had lived the 100 years after women were (partially) enfranchised in 1918 and told the history of 20th century Britain through their stories. England, Scotland, Wales, Empire (India and Guyana), rich, poor, professionals and servants – their diverse lives were a joy to work with as were they. Joyce, Phyllis, Helena, Ann, Olive and Edna – thank you. Get three women over 100 to a book launch and you have standing room only!
Reviews inc: TLS: ‘The book’s atmosphere of intimacy, enhanced by a generous selection of evocative photographs, is compelling, and Dunlop’s attention to her subjects’ day-to-day loves renders this an absorbing alternative to the grander views of recent history.’ Radio 4 Woman’s Hour, Jane Garvey: ‘A delightful book – all about women and women’s lives.’